In light of his comments about Fidel Castro (of which opinions have varied about how disgusting they were, but all falling on that side of the spectrum), the Miami Marlins have suspended manager Ozzie Guillen for five games, effective starting with tomorrow’s game against the Phillies. Guillen will miss the remaining two games against the Phillies, along with the first full series at Marlins Park, against the Astros this weekend.
In an interview with Time magazine, Guillen talked about how he loves Castro and respects him for staying in power for as long as he has. During a press conference this morning called for Guillen to apologize, he clarified his remarks saying that he meant to say that he couldn’t believe someone who had hurt as many people as Castro has had remained in power for so long.
Guillen’s comments about Castro are even more problematic considering the team he’s managing: the Miami Marlins. The new Marlins Park is located in an area of Miami called Little Havana, and the city has a large Cuban population. If Guillen’s comments were made in say, Kansas City, there likely wouldn’t have been as much of a firestorm over them. By the same token, if Guillen had said things like this about someone like Vladimir Putin instead, there also probably wouldn’t have been this large of a vitriolic reaction.
At the end of the day, the comments made by Guillen were stupid and irresponsible, especially for someone in his position in a city like Miami. There was no way for what he said to end well for him or the Marlins organization, and here we are, with him being suspended for five games after managing just five games so far this season. Take a bow, Ozzie.
Also, the Marlins organization knew what they were getting into with Guillen. They knew when they hired him how much of a firestarter he is, and that something explosive like this was bound to happen eventually. Unfortunately for the Marlins organization, it happened with a very sensitive subject around the Miami area, and has grown into a runaway freight train that might not even stop after Guillen’s suspension.