Mr. Guillen’s statements were of a different order. He told Time magazine that he “loved” and “respected” Fidel Castro, not because of Mr. Castro’s violent and destructive reign over Cuba, but because the man had survived for so long. No hatred was expressed, but that was enough to set off a firestorm in Miami, where the easily incited Cuban exile community immediately demanded his ouster.
Mr. Guillen is well-known for many years of randomly bizarre statements, and the Marlins knew exactly what they were getting when they hired him. He was brought on to increase the popularity of the team among Latinos, particularly after it relocated to a new stadium in the heart of Little Havana, where attendance is just as bad as it was in the old stadium. The Marlins may be within their legal rights, but they should have thought harder before succumbing to the cries of a mob and punishing a political statement for business reasons.