OT: Ozzie Guillen suspended for 5 games

Submitted by Moleskyn on April 10th, 2012 at 11:03 AM

He just had his press conference where (speaking in Spanish) he apologized to the Latin-American community for his comments. Here's a link to ESPN's summary of things.

"I feel like I betrayed my Latin community," Guillen said, according to ESPN's translation of his comments in Spanish. "I am here to say I am sorry with my heart in my hands and I want to say I'm sorry to all those people who are hurt indirectly or directly."

I say good for him for owning up to it and apologizing; this isn't an attitude he's adopted in the past with other comments he's made. But I feel like the Marlins suspending him is, I don't know, inadequate? I don't think that he should be fired, but it just seems odd. As an organization, you've got to send the message that you don't tolerate this, don't agree, etc., and I suppose they accomplished that by suspending him; but it just seems odd to go "Hey, you just complimented a dictator, you can't do that, we're going to suspend you 5 games." Maybe arbitrary is the word I'm looking for.



April 10th, 2012 at 11:45 AM ^

Why did Angelos say that?  I missed the story, but what was his reasoning?  I don't really see that being as offensive as what Guillen said, but maybe I'm wrong...  And either way, I don't think the Orioles depend on as much fan support from Latin Americans.


April 10th, 2012 at 11:10 AM ^

Suspending him is absolute bullshit. What he said was not PC in Miami, but he didn't do anything wrong by it. He expressed an opinion, one that is controversial, but nothing more. He didn't denigrate anyone or cause anyone harm. I think I agree with aaamichfan that this is all just a ploy to market MLB in Latin America.

Maximinus Thrax

April 10th, 2012 at 11:17 AM ^

This is pretty absurd.  It is not like he denied the holocaust, or made a disparaging remark about an ethnic group.  He expressed an opinion about an individual who is generally hated by Miami elites, but who is by no means universally reviled globally or regionally.  MLB is simply kowtowing to south Florida bigwigs.


April 10th, 2012 at 11:23 AM ^

He didn't denigrate anyone?  He said he loved and respected a dictator, someone who has been pretty cruel to Cubans.  So much so that some of them try to float across the ocean on poorly made dinghies, risking getting shot or eaten by sharks.  To me that's denigrating the people who have suffered under his rule.  Not to mention the fact that Guillen sort of insulted the USA by saying Castro was able to avoid being overthrown/killed despite American efforts.  Obviously, that's the less insulting part of the comment, but to say he's not denigrating anyone is incorrect, in my opinion.


April 10th, 2012 at 12:13 PM ^

Tim Hardaway Sr's comments on the LGBTQ community were denigrating. Ozzie Guillen saying he admired a politician is not denigrating. Guillen never said "I hate all Cubans in exile because they are just naturally ugly and stupid and won't go to heaven because of this." Sure, his comments were insensitive considering the poltical and social climate in South Florida, but they were not offensive or denigrating and suspending him for these comments is bullshit. Had he recused himself for 5 games I would have rolled my eyes but not cared. Having his employer suspend him is a whiole different problem, though.


April 10th, 2012 at 11:32 AM ^

FWIW, and others have stated as well, MLB did not suspend him. The 5-game suspension was handed down by the Marlins:

The Miami Marlins have suspended manager Ozzie Guillen for five games for comments he made in which he expressed admiration for Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

That's not to say the MLB won't do something about it, though:

Major League Baseball was reviewing the situation, a source told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney.

Moonlight Graham

April 10th, 2012 at 11:15 AM ^

being in the Miami market. Guillen's brand of running-of-the-mouth should be reserved for WWE villains. Yes, Ozzie we know you're outspoken but I'm not sure how this helps your ballclub. The "we played like st" stuff may motivate them but this other commentary is just the worst kind of bad judgement.


April 10th, 2012 at 11:19 AM ^

Being of middle eastern descent I see Castro a lot like Khomeini. Lots of Iranians like Khomeini while others despise him. There are two sides to every story. This was more of a PR move than anything. The media does a terrible job of portraying both sides of every story


April 10th, 2012 at 11:42 AM ^

...and geopolitics jumps front and center of the sports world. DAMNIT OZZIE.

PLEASE keep this discussion civil. I beg of thee.


April 10th, 2012 at 12:44 PM ^

I'll leave with one of my favorite Simpson's quotes.

Homer:  Please, please, kids, stop fighting. Maybe Lisa's right about America being the land of opportunity, and maybe Adil's got a point about the machinery of capitalism being oiled with the blood of the workers. 


April 10th, 2012 at 11:54 AM ^

Ozzie coaches baseball. We put way too much emphasis on the beliefs of people who are payed to play a sport or coach players of sports. Why Ozzie is even quoted on anything non-baseball related is beyond me. Same goes for Tebow and religious beliefs. Why should we care? The best response to this sort of thing is a big yawn.

When someone who's paid to pay attention to this stuff says something, then I'll take note.


April 10th, 2012 at 2:25 PM ^

I think there are differences in this situation, however. One difference is that Smith and Carlos saw themselves oppressed individuals speaking up for themselves against oppression. Ozzie is just being Ozzie--saying stupid stuff without thinking. I will listen to the voices of the oppressed, regardless of their situation. Coaches who have an opinion about world leaders--not so much.

death by trident

April 10th, 2012 at 12:22 PM ^

Public figures need to be aware that they are in public.  He can say what he said in his living room 1000 times a day with no consequences.  He has just proven that he can't say that to Time Magazine in during an interview.  It is just a result of our culture being connected more now than we ever have.

I am not a huge fan of coach speak, but there is something to be said for keeping it bland.


April 10th, 2012 at 12:39 PM ^

Ozzie's sin wasn't saying something that would offend people.  His sin was saying something that we have decided falls outside the acceptable realm of political opinion.  Playing "God Bless America" at sporting events offends a non-zero proportion of the population, but very few people suggest it should be stopped because it risks offending people.  

death by trident

April 10th, 2012 at 12:56 PM ^

He said something that would cost his team money.  He isn't being punished for being politically incorrect, he's being punished because the Florida Marlins need the support of local businesses and residents.  He did say something that offended people.  It was going to cost the team money.  The team suspended him.  That's pretty simple. 

His Dudeness

April 10th, 2012 at 12:03 PM ^

Who cares if he respects Castro? Castro is a leader of men -albeit a ruthless dictator. People like Che and Che worked with Castro, right? I don't understand what the big deal is. Hell Hitler was a monster, but he turned Germany into a superpower in short order so in that aspect he could be respected as well. All Guillen was saying is that he respects Castro's staying power. I don't see why that is so shocking. Castro has lasted a long time against all odds.

death by trident

April 10th, 2012 at 12:11 PM ^

I am not personally offended by his comment and it appears that you aren't either.  That doesn't mean that there weren't people who were. 


Francis Suarez, chairman of the Miami city commission, said Guillen should be fired. Joe Martinez, chairman of the Miami-Dade County board of commissioners, said Guillen should resign.


From here - http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory/marlins-suspend-ozzie-guillen-games-16107820




April 10th, 2012 at 1:10 PM ^

Have to say I agree with his dudeness on this one. Castro is a dictator but Ozzie didn't say all that much that was inflammatory. Hes said much worse in the past. I don't get why Cuba is such a hot topic (not in Miami, but nationally), especially considering what other dictators and governments we have diplomatic relationships with, especially in LatAm. Our track record isn't the greatest in our own hemisphere.

/off my soapbox

His Dudeness

April 10th, 2012 at 4:12 PM ^

Quote: “I love Fidel Castro … I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that (SOB) is still there.”

I think we can both agree he was speaking to the staying power of Castro. Love, respect, whatever... he was talking about the staying power of the man which is a completely valid point and a respectable quality in a person. Hell I have hated plenty of people in the office, but you have to tip your cap to those who are hated by most yet stay for far longer than their talents should allow.

It brings me to a quote from Blow "But I force a smile, knowing that my ambition far exceeded my talent. There are no more white horses or pretty ladies at my door."

Love him or hate him Castro has endured. That is an admirable quality.

Wolverine 73

April 10th, 2012 at 12:09 PM ^

The Marlins deserve what they got when they hired him.  He has been saying stupid things for years.  He is lucky he did this now when firing him would have been potentially damaging to a team many seem to think can make a real run at the NL pennant.  If he had said this in the middle of a lousy season he would have been canned.  Yes, he is free to say whatever he pleases, and the Marlins are free to tell him that as a representative of the team he has to curtail that freedom.


April 10th, 2012 at 12:33 PM ^

This isn't all about politics, it is about being a terrible salesman.  Imagine if the Director of say, National Geographic, stated that they admired and respected BP.  Nothing out of line or specifically controversial, but such a statement certainly wouldn't garner donations or support for National Geographic.  Same thing with Ozzie, he isn't being suspended for what he said, but the bottom line impact of what he said.


April 10th, 2012 at 2:56 PM ^

pleasant relationship with Castro. 

I've spent time in Cuba, studied that country a lot. Without getting all political one can definitely say that US politics here play into Guillen's having to walk back something he had a God-given AMERICAN constitutional right to say. 

Anyone who cares to think for themselves on the issue rather than just repeat what they've been told should have to contend with what I had to, working through my own pre-judgements: Cuba may be poor, but it's a lot less poor than almost any other poor place in the Caribbean (outside your tourist hotel), and I have seen them: Santo Domingo and Kingston, for starters. Poor farmers from other Caribbean countries--who I work with--marvel at how clean the place is and how everyone is eating. The Cuban people want Fidel to bugger off and let them finally run the country, but they don't want to give up their health system, which is one of the world's best. Every time I've had an emergency in the Caribbean (3x now), I've been treated by a Cuban doctor. 

Finally, don't let anyone tell you that there's no freedom there--people bad-mouth Castro all day long; that's just different from brutal dictator, no matter how you slice it; they know from brutal dictators--they had one before Castro, and he was closely connected to the US mafia. If they wanted to overthrow Castro they could have long ago. And don't let anyone tell you nothing changes there: the biggest gripe of many Cubans is how the plan changes every five minutes. They've tried everything, including giving back about a third of the country to private owners (mostly to start small farms and rural businesses) over the last five years. 

Miami is changing, too. The fact that Guillen said these things may end up proving more important than that he was censured for it.

Just sometimes helps to toss a few facts onto the bonfire. After all, it was my Michigan professors who set me on a track of thinking for myself.