Strike Two for Marlin Manager Ozzie Guillen

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Last week Miami Marlin’s manager, Ozzie Guillen, told Time Magazine that he “loves and respects” Fidel Castro. This week, reacting to outrage by Americans of Cuban heritage (i.e. a huge chunk of Marlin ticket-buyers), the MLB suspended Guillen for five games. Apparently eager to head-off worse retribution (and damage-control ticket sales) on April 19th a moping Guillen issued a groveling apology at a Miami press conference.

“I am here on my knees,” he whimpered. “I am here to say I am sorry with my heart in my hands…I hurt a lot of people’s feelings. Now I want to apologize because I did the wrong thing. It was a very stupid comment…This is the biggest mistake so far in my life. If I don’t learn from this mistake, then I will call myself dumb.”

As if hailing a Stalinist dictator who jailed political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin himself during the Great Terror, murdered more Cubans than Hitler murdered Germans during the Night of Long Knives, repeatedly craved to nuke Ozzie’s adopted country, and shattered the lives of half of Miami’s families were some kind of offense in this country! (Except for ticket-sales.)

Many luminaries in the Democratic Party and mainstream media must be snickering at the hapless Ozzie Guillen.

Take the very Time Magazine that quoted Guillen’s “respect” for Fidel Castro. In their “Heroes and Icons”  issue Time honors Fidel Castro’s chief hangman Che Guevara as among the most heroic and iconic of the lot, right alongside Anne Frank, Andrei Sakharov, Rosa Parks and Mother Theresa. “This obscure Argentine doctor who abandoned his profession and his native land to pursue the emancipation of the poor…” starts their eulogy. For the record: no record of Ernesto Guevara’s medical degree exists.

Take two-time candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination Jesse Jackson.  “Viva Fidel! Viva Che!” he bellowed while arm in arm with Fidel Castro himself in 1984.

Take Democratic presidential candidate, Presidential Medal of Freedom winner, and “Conscience of the Democratic party,” George Mc Govern: “Fidel Castro is very shy and sensitive, I frankly like him and regard him as a friend.”

Take former President of the United States and official “Elder Statesman” of the Democratic party, Jimmy Carter: “Fidel Castro first and foremost is and always has been a committed egalitarian. He wanted a system that provided the basic needs to all — enough to eat, health care, adequate housing and education. Cuba has superb systems of health care and universal education…We greeted each other as old friends.”

Take NBC’s Andrea Mitchell: “Fidel Castro is old-fashioned, courtly–even paternal, a thoroughly fascinating figure!”

Take Dan Rather: “Fidel Castro could have been Cuba’s Elvis.”

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  • Amused

    Good Grief , what the hell is your point here ? What did Guillen expect in LITTLE HAVANNA ??? WHere Cuban-Americans are rabidly anti-ANYTHING regarding Castro > in fact I believe he now got FIRED . . …and don't go blaming democrats for anything reharding this subject ….Cuban Americans are nearly 100% solid REPUBLICANS . …ALL THE TIME . Oh ….I get it , Guillen in Chicago would have gotten away with such statements …and OF COURSE !!! WHO COMES FROM CHICAGO ??? RIIIIIGHT ….arch-enemy and nemesis …Obama . Guillen if anything should be criticized for being Stupid …duh Miami-stadium in Little Havana /Cuban Exiles / …lool..and what of the Marlins management ? Surely they knew Guillen has made similar remarks in the past …a warning definitely was in order . Mostly ALL sports contracts with players , coaches etc. involve limitations and restriction on public behavior including public statements made to the media . As a buisiness entity I believe the Marlins are 100 % correct and Guillen WRONG .

  • Amused

    However someone might want to remind the cuban-AMERICANS down here , that they are indeed in AMERICA , and not in their former Cuba , where free speech is severly punished .From the Marlins point of view , this is strictly buisiness . If this were ANY other Ballpark /Club in America , [not JUST chicago as Fontava so facetiously alludes ] there MAY have been a reprimand , a remindrr of Guillens contractual obligations , followed maybe by an apology …and end of story . ONLY becuase it was Miami , and possible monetary damage to the Marlins bottomline , was there such a big bruhaha , a 5 day suspension , numerous apologies , [both not enough for the Cubanos ] and subsequent firing of Guillen to satisfy them . BTW Guillen has also staed previously that Chavez was a "great guy " .

  • Amused

    Just curious to see how Rubio weighs in on this . If at all .

  • Ghostwriter

    When I was living in Champaign-Urbana,I had someone taking care of my grandmother who made similar statements about Fidel Castro. I said that told her that Amnesty International routinely condemned him for his human rights violations. Unfortunately,she blew them off. To be honest,I can't blame most Cuban-Americans for hating Fidel Castro. To me,it would be like asking Chinese-Americans to praise Mao Zedong,Vietnamese-Americans to praise Ho Chi Minh,or most Venezuelan-Americans to praise Hugo Chavez. If somebody did those things to my family,I wouldn't be too happy with somebody like that either.

  • wctaqiyya

    Humberto, the best article yet on this matter. Thank you. Not being Cuban living in Miami, I'm not shocked by Mr. blabber mouth. Ozzie is nothing if not, foot in mouth, apologize, until next time. But I am a baseball fan and I say the suspensions are a bit much, Ozzie's apology was sincere and should be enough. A more constructive approach for the Miami Cubans, who have prospered so well in America, may be to push for the liberation of Cuba. What the hell are we waiting for anyway? Let's liberate Cuba and be done with it for God's sake. Ozzie, grab a horse, make like a Venezuelan cowboy and lead the charge up San Juan hill baby! Invoke the Pope, freedom, sun drenched beaches, warm young ladies and the best rum in the west. I will volunteer too.
    By the way, if the republican party has any intelligent or talented politicians, they can make hay over this at the expense of Obama. Never mind, they should just hire Humberto. Cheers.

  • Amused

    yea , Humberto's article intends JUST THAT , it's a pissss poor strawman , the only intention being to connect Guillen , Chicago -Obama – =Castro Lovers . Republicans have been pandering to Cubanos in So.Fla for decades. Rubio got outed for claimimng his family came by way of refugge rote , when in reality they left under their own staem BEFORE Castro took over . We suffered a crime wave during Castro's open the prisons and send'em to Florida . To Americans down here marialito is a dirty word . And WHY is it only a Cuban gets auto-citizenship just for actually setting foot on American soil , everyone else gets to go to Krome Detention Center and get deported . The massive sugar cane fields in So.Fla .are owned by Cubans with the expressed intent on putting their Cuban brothersback in Cuba out of buisiness .The only ones suffering from our embargo are the Cuban People .

  • Amused

    The vote pandering down here is such that Little Havanna is making foreign policy towards Cuba . If they really wanted to free Cuba , open the floodgates to trade and capitalism will certainly WIN . For petesakes the US dollar is common currency there . The Soviets are gone and Cuba's ripe for Democracy , but the bitter hatred of Castro overides COMMON SENSE . In the meantime I dare anyone to go down there and try to get by speaking ENGLISH .