Guillen gets 5-game suspension for comments on Castro, Chavez

posted at 11:36 am on April 10, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Lesson #1 for high-profile entertainment and sports figures in Florida: Don’t run around praising Fidel Castro on any basis whatsoever.  The Florida Marlins have socked manager Ozzie Guillen with a five-game suspension for his remarks praising Castro and Hugo Chavez for their longevity in power, if nothing else (via Twitchy):

Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen was suspended for five games Tuesday because of his comments about Fidel Castro.

The suspension by the team takes effect immediately. It was announced shortly before Guillen was to hold a news conference to explain his remarks, which caused a public backlash.

Guillen told Time magazine he loves Castro and respects the retired Cuban leader for staying in power so long. At least two local officials said Guillen should lose his job.

There is a certain symmetry to this, as the AP notes, since Guillen has only managed the Marlins for … five games.  Guillen flew home to apologize yesterday for his comments, which CNN analyzed this morning:

Perhaps Guillen hasn’t become acclimated yet to Florida’s political climate, and thinks he’s still in Chicago.  However, it’s good to recall that Guillen became the darling last year of practically everyone he offended this year by attacking Sean Penn for his support of, er, Hugo Chavez:

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen continues to be annoyed with Sean Penn, over the actor’s continued defense of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

Yahoo Sports reported the feud goes all the way back to March. Penn had appeared on “Real Time with Bill Maher” and criticized the use of the word “dictator” to describe Chavez, Yahoo reported.

In response, Guillen issued the following tweet: “Sean Penn defended Chavez is easy when you have money, and no leave in out country. Shame on you, Mr. Penn.”

I have a sneaking suspicion that Guillen’s views on the topics of Castro and Chavez are significantly more nuanced than the coverage of his latest remarks has allowed.  On the other hand … maybe not:

Judge for youself. Here is the Guillen quote that made its way to the Internet: “I love Fidel Castro … I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last sixty years but that [expletive] is still there.”

The one thing Guillen got right is this: Castro is an “expletive.” Other than that, this is the dumbest paragraph uttered by a major-league manager in the history of paragraphs and managers.

Yeah, it’s a pretty stupid thing to say anywhere, but especially in Miami.  Guillen has a right to say it, but do the Marlins have a right to punish him in response?  My friend from across the aisle Michael Stickings (who is absolutely no fan of Chavez and regularly criticizes the Left for soft-peddling his dictatorship) thinks this is arguably an infringement of Guillen’s right to free speech:

But here we have a different, more nuanced situation: Guillen de facto works for a quasi-public entity. Major league baseball is exempt from certain laws with respect to monopoly practices, and under those auspices, receive political scrutiny far beyond what any other industry would get.

How else do you explain Congress getting involved in a drug scandal?

In this capacity and as a public figure, Guillen has influence beyond the domain of his clubhouse.

Generally, sports figures stay away from politics. It’s bad for contract negotiations, which is also why you see players setting up charities for kids with cancer or who are poor. And remember, Cassius Clay spent time in jail after he changed his name to Muhammad Ali and refused the draft for Vietnam as a conscietious objector.

It has happened, however, where ballplayers have gotten involved in making political statements and paid no price: in the 1960s, black players would express support for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Some ballplayers even protested the Vietnam War (Tom Seaver, one of the greatest pitchers ever, springs to mind).

Hell, Castro was scouted for baseball when he was a kid!

Guillen should pay no price, either. He’s apologized, but I don’t think he needed to. If Guillen is to pay a price, if we are to clearly remove politics from sports (which might not be a bad thing, but right now, is not a necessary thing), then Tim Thomas should be forced to remove his helmet while playing for the Boston Bruins. He paid no official price for refusing to meet with President Obama, either. If Guillen is punished, then so should Tim Thomas.

I’d argue that sports teams have the right to determine whether either or both damaged the their enterprise by speaking out, and that the two teams can make different determinations as to whether punishment is appropriate.  I don’t buy the idea that MLB is “quasi-public” because of its antitrust exemption, either, but even if it was, free speech does not mean freedom from the consequences of speech.  Other than the contractual obligations both Guillen and the Marlins freely engaged, the team has no requirement to keep employing him as the manager, and no requirement to stand silent when he creates a situation that damages their brand.

However, in my opinion, a five-game suspension is an overreaction.  Guillen said something stupid in an interview — he didn’t order a player beaned or shove an umpire.  A fine would have been more appropriate in this case, along with an admonition borrowed in spirit from Laura Ingraham: shut up and play.

What do you think? Take the poll:


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Man, the news is rough on Hispanics in Florida.

Meanwhile, Marge Schott could not be reached for comment….

apostic on April 10, 2012 at 11:43 AM

1. I’ve said from the start that he didn’t mean the “compliment” in any real way.

2. The Marlins can do whatever they want. There is no “free speech” issue here.

3. He should apologize because, even though he didn’t truly mean to compliment Castro, he carelessly handled the topic to the consternation of Castro’s victims.

4. He said in his press conference that he hates Castro and Chavez. Now, can we get America to shun the politicians and Hollywood stars who openly support those monsters?

mankai on April 10, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Ehhh. While I think he is stupid, I don’t think he should be suspended.

Of course, this is not a “free speech” issue. The Florida Marlins are not the government. This guy has the right to say whatever he wants and his employer has the right to continue to employ him or not as they see fit.

So don’t everyone jump on and start spouting nonsense about freedom of speech. Free speech only applies (or should only apply) to gov’t attempts to censor speech. Not private consequences for your speech.

Monkeytoe on April 10, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Slightly OT: Why did the Marlins change from Florida to Miami after all this time? Is it because the Tampa Bay team is finally respectable? Or were they worried with 2015 fast approaching that the prediction in Back to the Future Part II of “Miami” losing the World Series wouldn’t have been accurate?

Doughboy on April 10, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Unfortunately the Marlins needed to do this. They have a new, tax-payer funded, stadium as well as a bloated payroll to pay for (either with goodwill or actual ticket/TV dollars). The team has never had a strong fan base so Guillen alienating all those potential customers simply wasn’t going to fly.

Rufus on April 10, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Leave the politics to the weasels.

Ukiah on April 10, 2012 at 11:46 AM

However, it’s good to recall that Guillen became the darling last year of practically everyone he offended this year by attacking Sean Penn for his support of, er, Hugo Chavez

But Guillen has also praised Chavez, from what I’ve read. I really don’t care what either Guillen or Penn say about anyone- they were dumb remarks, especially for the manager of a team in Miami, but hello, it’s Ozzie Guillen.

The Marlins have every right to discipline him if they believe he’s hurt the franchise, but the guy shouldn’t be taken all that seriously.

changer1701 on April 10, 2012 at 11:47 AM

The people who hired Ozzie knew what they were getting into….so hope the bed they made is a comfy one!

search4truth on April 10, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Perhaps Guillen hasn’t become acclimated yet to Florida’s political climate

From what I’ve read, Ozzie has lived, off season, in Miami for the last 12 years. I can get that he’s more focused on baseball than anything else, but to be that oblivious to politics where he lives is unthinkable. But I don’t think he should be fired or suspended. Bill “Spaceman” Lee (Red Sox reliever in the 1970s) is an out and out communist. Fine. It just tells me you’re an ignorant, malicious jerk. Keep your day job. I’ve got a lot of reasons to dislike Ozzie, but I want him to expose himself for the ignorant idiot he is. Perfect example of Dear Liar’s supporters, people who are blind to actual reality and only want to see the idealized version, forgetting that life is messy and imperfect.

rbj on April 10, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Sorry I don’t buy this. You don’t say I love so and so when you really hate the person. That’s not how people talk. Have you ever referred to someone you hate and said I love the Guy? Not me.

Castro caused the pain and suffering of millions of people for decades. Anyone who says I love the guy that worked for me would be at the unemployment line within an hour.

angryed on April 10, 2012 at 11:48 AM

What the Marlins did was “just right.” It was their choice. They have the right to do what they think is necessary to protect their brand.

Any argument to the contrary is an argument for the further expansion of government power.

fadetogray on April 10, 2012 at 11:49 AM

mankai on April 10, 2012 at 11:43 AM

How could he say what he did and not mean it as a compliment?

Nathan_OH on April 10, 2012 at 11:49 AM

He should remove himself to Cuba, and praise Castro, there. And, he can manage a Cuban team, and pay 99% taxes on his $6.50 a month salary.

Great stuff, for all concerned.

OhEssYouCowboys on April 10, 2012 at 11:49 AM

A pillory in front of the stadium for the next home game

A fundraiser for children of Cuba and Venezuela based on purchase of rotten of tomatoes by “fans” of his.

tomg51 on April 10, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Ozzie is what he is, a guy without an unspoken thought.

joepub on April 10, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Too much
Guillen ripped into Chavez big time last year and talked about how great American was.
Even though I’m a Cubbie fan and he was coaching the White Sux-I couldn’t help but give him kudos.

annoyinglittletwerp on April 10, 2012 at 11:50 AM

I am shocked, SHOCKED that Ozzie Guillen said something inflammatory.

Good Solid B-Plus on April 10, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Man, the news is rough on Hispanics in Florida.

Meanwhile, Marge Schott could not be reached for comment….

Thank goodness the two of them never had any children together–the spawn in question would have been starting wars every time he/she opened their mouth.

M. Scott Eiland on April 10, 2012 at 11:51 AM

ED:

Guillen has caused a major public relations headache for the Marlins, who just opened their new stadium on the edge of Little Havana. I think they had no choice but to take some form of action.

Doughboy:

Slightly OT: Why did the Marlins change from Florida to Miami after all this time?

Two reasons. First, they are now playing in Miami. Second, there used to be a minor league team called the “Miami Marlins,” so the name has some sentimental value.

SWLiP on April 10, 2012 at 11:52 AM

I do not understand how Guillen could be punished for this; but meanwhile I bought my son his first baseball glove that had a MLB logo on it and it was made in China….

OliverB on April 10, 2012 at 11:52 AM

So a baseball manager says something about Castro and it’s all over the news.

Elected representatives in the Congressional Black Caucus slobber all over Castro and it’s not news (at least in the Legacy Media).

Weird.

“He looked directly into my eyes!” gasped Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.) “and then he asked: how can we help President Obama? Fidel Castro really wants President Obama to succeed.”

“It was quite a moment to behold!” hyperventilated Rep. Barbara Lee. (D-Calif.) “Fidel Castro was very engaging and very energetic.”

“He’s one of the most amazing human beings I’ve ever met!” gushed Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.)

“Raul Castro was a very engaging, down-to-earth and kind man,” according to Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) “someone who I would favor as a neighbor. It was almost like visiting an old friend,” (A Freudian slip, perhaps? Bobby Rush, after all, was a card-carrying Black Panther who did prison time.)

Lest we forget: these black U.S. legislators were raving about a regime that jailed political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin’s and executed more people (out of a population of 6.4 million) in its first three years in power than Hitler’s executed (out of a population of 70 million) in its first six.

visions on April 10, 2012 at 11:53 AM

I, for one, am shocked….. shocked, I say…….. that an overpaid celebrity would think highly of a Communist dictator.

I vote, “who cares?”

UltimateBob on April 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM

He admires superior strength — that’s the attribute he quoted and it’s an admirable one — from an athletic point of view.

From a governmental point of view, it stinks. I’ll have to submerge myself into the mud and go over to Time to read this thing.

I’m betting Time did what the journalists usually do — which is to cut and present the juiciest morsels while hiding the sauce those morsels come in.

unclesmrgol on April 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Free Speech?

If I were the owner, he would have been fired on the spot.

All that money they spent on that ballclub, and now some idiot pisses off a good quarter or third of the fan base?

Leave it to a dumb liberal to try and interject a”free speech” argument here.

5 games? BS. He’s going to cost them a ton of money until they end up firing him anyway.

reaganaut on April 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Baseball managers know about as much about the real world, as musicians and actors do.

Or our president, attorney general or secretary of state.

NoDonkey on April 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Two reasons. First, they are now playing in Miami. Second, there used to be a minor league team called the “Miami Marlins,” so the name has some sentimental value.

SWLiP on April 10, 2012 at 11:52 AM

I looked it up. Apparently they had to rename themselves after the city as part of the agreement with Miami-Dade County which owns their new ballpark. They’ve always played in Miami since their inception, so that wasn’t the reason behind the name change.

Doughboy on April 10, 2012 at 11:55 AM

I’m guessing Ozzy see’s no difference between the tyrannical force a dictator uses to remain in power and at the top of the ruling class and the tenacious dedication and persistent hard work it takes for a ball player to remain at the top of his game.

I give him a mulligan on this one. 5 game suspend and an apology is good for now. He’s a jock after all.

beselfish on April 10, 2012 at 11:55 AM

unclesmrgol on April 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM

A few years back, Ozzie ‘pwned Sean Penn for praising Chavez.
He’s NOT pro-dictator.

annoyinglittletwerp on April 10, 2012 at 11:57 AM

The people who hired Ozzie knew what they were getting into….so hope the bed they made is a comfy one!

search4truth on April 10, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Yup. He’s almost schizo at times, can’t keep his mouth shut,….and he loves the spotlight. I will predict this isn’t the last bit of quicksand Ozzie will find over the next season or two.

a capella on April 10, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Why wasn’t one of the options to let him coach in either of those countries?
He would be treated, as an elite correct?

KOOLAID2 on April 10, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Not much different from expressing admiration for Mao Tse-Tung.

slickwillie2001 on April 10, 2012 at 11:58 AM

A few years back, Ozzie ‘pwned Sean Penn for praising Chavez.
He’s NOT pro-dictator.

annoyinglittletwerp on April 10, 2012 at 11:57 AM

True. Unfortunately, he lets his mouth run independent of his brain at times.

a capella on April 10, 2012 at 11:58 AM

I am shocked, SHOCKED that Ozzie Guillen said something inflammatory.

Good Solid B-Plus on April 10, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Heh. Beat me.

Warped minds…..

UltimateBob on April 10, 2012 at 11:59 AM

A few years back, Ozzie ‘pwned Sean Penn for praising Chavez.
He’s NOT pro-dictator.

annoyinglittletwerp on April 10, 2012 at 11:57 AM

He’s been inconsistent over the years to say the least with regard to Chavez.

Doughboy on April 10, 2012 at 11:59 AM

How about another choice – “It’s really only up to the Marlins to decide what to do.” He has the right to say stupid and offensive crap, and the Marlins have every right to suspend or even fire him if they want. Or not pusish him at all and ignore it if that’s what they choose to do.

crazy_legs on April 10, 2012 at 12:00 PM

visions on April 10, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Excellent post.

The Congressional Black Caucus, like the President, are nothing but America hating Communists. The ruination of everything that made America great, is their goal.

OhEssYouCowboys on April 10, 2012 at 12:00 PM

A few years back, Ozzie ‘pwned Sean Penn for praising Chavez.
He’s NOT pro-dictator.

annoyinglittletwerp on April 10, 2012 at 11:57 AM

True. Unfortunately, he lets his mouth run independent of his brain at times.

a capella on April 10, 2012 at 11:58 AM

You know the world’s gonna end soon when you have a rabid Cubs fan defending the former manager of the White Sox!

annoyinglittletwerp on April 10, 2012 at 12:02 PM

1). I don’t believe Ozzie should have been suspended. The apology was enough. But, business is business and the Marlins did what they thought they had to do.

2). I wonder how the very anti-Castro contingent in Miami will vote in November? It is kinda nice to see such a vocal anti-communist community in the USA. Can they see beyond Cuba politics? Hope so.

joejm65 on April 10, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Open mouth insert foot, up to hip kiss @ss.

Ozzie, Ozzie, Ozzie. IMHO it couldn’t have happened to a better guy.

D-fusit on April 10, 2012 at 12:07 PM

I am shocked, SHOCKED that Ozzie Guillen said something inflammatory.

Good Solid B-Plus on April 10, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Heh. Beat me.

Warped minds…..

UltimateBob on April 10, 2012 at 11:59 AM

OT. Y’know that movie is playing in theaters again 26 April. I saw it in a theater last month. A lot of younger people were there, and they loved the “Shocked! Shocked!” line and its immediate payoff.

apostic on April 10, 2012 at 12:07 PM

OT. Y’know that movie is playing in theaters again 26 April. I saw it in a theater last month. A lot of younger people were there, and they loved the “Shocked! Shocked!” line and its immediate payoff.

apostic on April 10, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Really? I’ve love to see Casablanca on a big screen. One of the all-time greatest movies.

Good Solid B-Plus on April 10, 2012 at 12:12 PM

I’m confused. So is Guillen a commie?

I didn’t think so, based upon his Penn remarks last year. He doesn’t seem to be honoring Castro with these most recent remarks, either. More impressed with him not being ventilated – which isn’t a small achievement.

lorien1973 on April 10, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Thanks for the 2005 White Sox World Series win, Ozzie. But I was not sad to see him leave the CWS for the Marlins. It’s a shame he took Buerle though.

St Gaudens on April 10, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Probably I should leave this alone.. mark it up as a brainfart, let hi clarify and apologize.. then forget it..

he seems like good people in general.

mark81150 on April 10, 2012 at 12:13 PM

He’s been inconsistent over the years to say the least with regard to Chavez.

Doughboy on April 10, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Hit in the head by too many wild pitches?

Ward Cleaver on April 10, 2012 at 12:13 PM

What an embarrassment – The Marlins that is.
This PC garbáge has already put me off most pro sports.

“Beisbol ben berry berry good to heem” is now a reason to be pilloried in public?

Screw Florida, the Marlins, and every other thing about that bug-infested dump.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on April 10, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Praising or openly supporting obama should also be punished.

Pork-Chop on April 10, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Man, the news is rough on Hispanics in Florida.

Meanwhile, Marge Schott could not be reached for comment….

apostic on April 10, 2012 at 11:43 AM

I miss her, and Bill Veeck, and Charlie Findley.

M240H on April 10, 2012 at 12:20 PM

The 1st Amendment limits governmental infringement on speech, and MLB and the Florida Marlins are non-governmental entities.

I’m curious as to just how MLB/Florida Marlins could have violated 1st Amendment limitations on governmental action.

Jazz on April 10, 2012 at 12:21 PM

As a Cuban-American female, I was VERY offended by what Guillen said. With that said the Marlins can do what they want in terms of discipline, however I can tell you right now if the Marlins decide to keep Guillen, it will really hurt their bottom line. Not a lot of Cubans will be PAYING money to attend games managed by a Castro sympathizer.

And I saw somewhere up thread someone say that Cubans lean to the left politically. That is not even close to being true. The Cuban community is among the most right leaning and loyal GOP constituencies. (The mayor Miami-Dade county is a Cuban American Republican, the entire delegation that encompasses Cuban communities, both in congress, the state house, and the state senate is represented by Republicans.)

Raquel Pinkbullet on April 10, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Meanwhile, Marge Schott could not be reached for comment….

apostic on April 10, 2012 at 11:43 AM

As a lifetime Cincinnati Reds fan… Well played, sir. I still remember Marge Schott’s attitude and antics. Holy cow, what a self-absorbed racist she was! Eric “the Red” Davis, hospitalized out-of-state for damage to his body after he helped the Reds win the World Series required to spend his own money to fly back home, Marge’s disgusting words toward blacks, Marge requiring the General Manager to actually wear Schottzy’s hair (that was her dog (and that name? Narcissist much?)) on the field during games… Major League Baseball was right in throwing her in the garbage heap. Ozzie Guillen, on the other hand, is nowhere near Marge’s level of stupidity. And I haven’t heard of him spouting racist claptrap like Marge did. But he is indeed flamboyant. And his mouth gets into high gear before his brain gets out of neutral.

Looking at the poll, I was personally torn between “fine and apology” and “5 game suspension”, but I chose the suspension. I understand the “Free Speech” angle because I’m all for the First Amendment, but that First Amendment also has the “Freedom of Association” clause. And if the Marlins don’t want someone who supports Hispanic Tyrants spewing their garbage while representing the Marlins, then the Marlins should have First Amendment Freedom of Association rights to do with their black sheep as they see fit.

John Hitchcock on April 10, 2012 at 12:31 PM

I looked it up. Apparently they had to rename themselves after the city as part of the agreement with Miami-Dade County which owns their new ballpark. They’ve always played in Miami since their inception, so that wasn’t the reason behind the name change.

Doughboy on April 10, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Strictly speaking, they had played in the same stadium as the Dolphins, in Miami Gardens, a suburb of Miami, at the north border of Miami-Dade Country. As a practical matter, it’s almost in Broward County.

I went to a Marlins game when I was at UM for a school year in 1996-97. It was a bit of a hike getting to the park from Coral Gables. The stadium was built for the Dolphins, and, I believe, they were really trying to appeal to the Broward County and Palm Beach County crowds. So, I don’t think the stadium ever really had a strong connection to Miami–even though the UM Hurricanes moved their games there when the Orange Bowl was plowed under. By extension, I really don’t think the Miami folks felt a strong tie to the team. With the new stadium, I think they were trying to tap in to the Miami market more convincingly.

Just my two cents.

BuckeyeSam on April 10, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Knowing Bud “Lite” Selig, the WORST commissioner in the history of baseball, the suspension had more to do with his comments about the communist thug Chavez than praise of Castro.

wildcat72 on April 10, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Baseball managers know about as much about the real world, as musicians and actors do.

Or our president, attorney general or secretary of state.

NoDonkey on April 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM

We have a president?? I thought he just played one on TV.

Nutstuyu on April 10, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Guillen de facto works for a quasi-public entity.

No, he doesn’t.

Knott Buyinit on April 10, 2012 at 12:37 PM

I wonder if a White Hispanic would have gotten away with going Full Retard like that?

MNHawk on April 10, 2012 at 12:37 PM

I say fire him only because it will hurt their ticket sales. If I owned the club I would fire him. Five years from now, people will think of him as the guy who likes Castro. To this day, I still think of Jason Kidd as the guy who beat up his wife.

Imagine if someone had said Hitler was a great leader. People would be mad, but there would not be a speech issue there either. If that someone was the face of a sports franchise or a company (i.e. Aflak), then the company would want to fire them for the bad press to get back into the good graces of their target market.

I think the exit question is why aren’t more franchises having PR classes prior to sending out their people to speak in public? Simply tell your players and coaches, don’t say how you are a fan of Mao Tse Tung or Hitler or Castro. Don’t join public political discussions. Don’t publish people’s addresses in a twitter feed. Just common sense stuff that apparently isn’t common anymore.

jeffn21 on April 10, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Knowing Bud “Lite” Selig, the WORST commissioner in the history of baseball, the suspension had more to do with his comments about the communist thug Chavez than praise of Castro.

wildcat72 on April 10, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Selig didn’t suspend him.

The Marlins did.

Bitter Clinger on April 10, 2012 at 12:38 PM

With the new stadium, I think they were trying to tap in to the Miami market more convincingly.

Just my two cents.

BuckeyeSam

Exactly. And that’s why they should fire him yesterday.

Knott Buyinit on April 10, 2012 at 12:42 PM

And Raquel, be still my heart, I think I love you.

John Hitchcock on April 10, 2012 at 12:43 PM

mankai on April 10, 2012 at 11:43 AM

How could he say what he did and not mean it as a compliment?

Nathan_OH on April 10, 2012 at 11:49 AM

He used an unfortunate Americanism, “love”. He was sarcastically complimenting Castro’s 60 years in power with people trying to kill him. Ozzie is always on the chopping block because of his mouth (see: right now) and “admired” how Castro could keep 1 job for 60 years under threat of death.

As noted, it was very bad analogy and an ill attempt at being humorous… but it was not a glowing endorsement of Castro.

He should apologize… but Americans are wired to be outrageously outraged and offended every time a street light changes from green to yellow.

mankai on April 10, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Meanwhile, Marge Schott could not be reached for comment….

Unsurprising, as she died 8 years ago.

And how is this a “free speech violation”? No one is asserting that Guillen does not have thr ight to whatever opinion he wants to have about Castro or anyone else. His employer, which is a public entity that depends on the continued goodwill of citizens, many of whom are Cuban exiles or the descendants thereof, if perfectly in its rights to suspend or fire him as they please.

FuzzyLogic on April 10, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Ah, those whacky white hispanics.

Bevan on April 10, 2012 at 12:50 PM

As a lifetime Cincinnati Reds fan… Well played, sir. I still remember Marge Schott’s attitude and antics. Holy cow, what a self-absorbed racist she was! Eric “the Red” Davis, hospitalized out-of-state for damage to his body after he helped the Reds win the World Series required to spend his own money to fly back home, Marge’s disgusting words toward blacks, Marge requiring the General Manager to actually wear Schottzy’s hair (that was her dog (and that name? Narcissist much?)) on the field during games… Major League Baseball was right in throwing her in the garbage heap

Reds fan/lifelong Cincinnatian here as well.

Marge was a lot more complex of a character than the natinal media let on. She was, without a doubt, racist, and in the same way that your grandma probably is/was if she was born around 1920. It was a pretty common attitude amongst that generation. I will not try to defend that attitude, and if nothing else, it shows how far most of us have come that the children and grandchildren of that generation no longer feel that way.

Marge was also a tireless philanthopist and gave a great deal of money and time to one worthy cause after another, particulary the Zoo and a number of local schools. She sat down in the stands during games with the rest of the fans, and spent pretty much the whole game signing autographs for kids.

She was also a little bit crazy, and this combined with the benighted racial views meant that she should never have been allowed within 10 yards of a television camera. Media types loved interviewing her because they could usually get her to say something dumb that they could then preach about on TV.

There was a lot more to Marge than the caricature she became.

FuzzyLogic on April 10, 2012 at 12:57 PM

this new Miami ownership group is a bunch of amateurs. they have overpaid numerous players, built a stadium that’ll never recoup its investment, and lastly, they hired a known Marxist as their manager and then acted surprised when he runs his mouth.

burserker on April 10, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Okay, just to clear up the free speach issue for those that don’t understand…..The constitution guarantees that the GOVERMENT will not infrnge on your right to offensive free speach. It doesn’t mean you won’t get fired or punched in the nose.

Redglen on April 10, 2012 at 1:04 PM

They’ve always played in Miami since their inception, so that wasn’t the reason behind the name change.

That’s incorrect. They played at Land Shark stadium, up near the Broward County line — at least a 20-30 minute drive from the City of Miami.

SWLiP on April 10, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Those who followed Ozzie in Chicago are not surprised.

Ozzie shoots his mouth off and.. hits himself

CiLH1 on April 10, 2012 at 1:06 PM

I want to see the original interview, I assume it was in Spanish? And also, what’s being replaced by those “…”

BocaJuniors on April 10, 2012 at 1:09 PM

The news media are only rough on Freedom loving, Democracy loving Hispanics but they apologize for, and stand up for Castro loving, Communist loving Hispanics.

This manager loves Castro therefore he should go coach the Castro boys in Cuba. Oh wait, he won’t make the big bucks in his favorite sons home land.

Fire his fanny

Delsa on April 10, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Does this mean the Nationals manager will get 10 games if he says he loves Thomas Jefferson?

EddieC on April 10, 2012 at 1:15 PM

All a liberal has to do is say,”I’m sorry” and they are off skippy free. He loves Castro means Communism. Say TA TA yahoo

Delsa on April 10, 2012 at 1:26 PM

She was, without a doubt, racist, and in the same way that your grandma probably is/was if she was born around 1920. It was a pretty common attitude amongst that generation. I will not try to defend that attitude, and if nothing else, it shows how far most of us have come that the children and grandchildren of that generation no longer feel that way.

FuzzyLogic on April 10, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Funny you should say that. I was about 10-ish when I was sitting in my great grandmother’s (born 1906) living room and watching Lawrence Welk with her. He must’ve kissed a black singer on the cheek after she was done singing, because my great grandmother asked me if I would have any problem kissing a black girl. I believe I responded that I didn’t think I’d have a problem with that. Of course, at that age, I was still rather embarrassed by the question of kissing someone. Would love to do it, just embarrassed at the question. And, even at that age, I had absolutely no problem with melanin-enhanced people.

John Hitchcock on April 10, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Either fire him because his views don’t match the image the owners want to portray or leave his idiotic statements alone because he does have a right to free speech, even stupid speech.

I really don’t understand the suspension thing. Suspensions are used as a punishment for doing something wrong.

He didn’t do anything wrong. He just has horrible thoughts on politics and what he thinks are good politics.

ButterflyDragon on April 10, 2012 at 1:27 PM

As a very proud naturalized American who left Cuba in 1959,
I can not really describe my utter hatred of Fidel Castro and his
minions. My family suffered executions and lost a beautiful country
as did many other fellow Cubans.
But I strongly believe in the First Amendment and the freedom of
speech that was earned at a very high price.
Short of “yelling fire” or despicable protests at our brave soldier’s
Funerals I don’t believe free speech should be denied.
I don’t like Ozzie’s opinions in fact I really dislike them but
he has the RIGHT to voice them. My fellow Cubans need to
see how ironic it is for them to deny his free speech, that’s what
Castro does.
Any way it is the Marlin’s management that has angered the community
more justifiably by building a stadium with tax payer dollars.
With the help of a recalled Mayor and numerous other corrupt
Commissioners, the Marlins have earned the resentment and distain
Of the very community they seeks as fans.
Leave Ozzie to his own opinions and instead point your animosity
Toward the Marlin’s owners.

artatwerk on April 10, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Either fire him because his views don’t match the image the owners want to portray or leave his idiotic statements alone because he does have a right to free speech, even stupid speech.

I really don’t understand the suspension thing. Suspensions are used as a punishment for doing something wrong.

He didn’t do anything wrong. He just has horrible thoughts on politics and what he thinks are good politics.

ButterflyDragon on April 10, 2012 at 1:27 PM

The suspension is a way for the Marlins to try and save face with the Cuban-American population in Miami. Guillen’s quotes were potentially a financial harm to the Marlins.

Bitter Clinger on April 10, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Ozzie Guillen is a hot head who doesn’t think before he opens his mouth. Professing love for Castro, in any way other than as a child of God, is just plain stupid!

More than likely, the fans will punish him, the suspension was probably over the top, just like Guillen.

tomshup on April 10, 2012 at 1:44 PM

This guy is more than an idiot.
He espouses his “love and respect” for Castro?
What else does it mean….if you extrapolate out? He loves COMMUNISM too.
He should have kept his mouth shut to the media. Yea I guess he should have remained a closet Communist lover but it is all out there now. You can’t un-ring the bell.
This is the guy to lead the Marlins to victory?
Is there is no one else?

Delsa on April 10, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Michael Moore praised Castro. Can he be given a five-year suspension from making movies?

Pervygrin on April 10, 2012 at 3:54 PM

That communist-sucking little maggot is free to any opinion he wants…stupidity isn’t against the law or the Democrat party couldn’t exist. And Loria is an imbecile. Ozzie the Nitwit said the same thing four years ago in Chicago, and none of the Democrat maggots here had any problem with it.

But the Marlins are a private business and he can fire his nitwit manager any damn time he likes.

Jaibones on April 10, 2012 at 6:29 PM

I also love the quotes: “I love Obama…I love Chavez…I love Castro”. Huh…that’s what Matt Damon, Danny Glover, Sean Pean, Michael Moore, Calypso Louie, Harry Belafonte, and Angela Davis all say.

Maybe there is something to this Republican theory that liberal Democrats are just socialists and Marxists in disguise?

Jaibones on April 10, 2012 at 6:32 PM