First let me say that I have never been a fan of Ozzie Guillen. From his days as a loudmouth player with the White Sox, all the way through to today as a loudmouth manager of the Marlins. He is one of those guys who just doesn’t have a filter. He says whatever pops into his head, a trait that most of us shed at about age 8. By now you’ve heard of the flap he caused by extolling the virtues of Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro. Something compelled Guillen to say, among other things that he “loved” Castro. Dan Lebatard, a successful columnist and ESPN host, happens to be a Cuban- American and likened Castro to Hitler. Imagine how youi’d feel if someone came out and expressed their love for Adolph.
The Marlins have acted swiftly. They had to because it’s a P.R. nightmare. Guillen was hired to be the face of the franchise, in a new ballpark in an area that is heavily Hispanic, and predominantly Cuban. Really Ozzie? Are you thast stupid or just careless and a little stupid? Guillen was quick with the “mea culpas”, but raise your hand if you believe the guy. Another P.R. move to try for damage control. The Marlins can ill-afford to lose such a vast portion of their audience. The crocodile tears and all were a nice touch, but Ozzie, you’ve got to wear this one. A five game suspension seems about right.
Jose Iglesias is a Cuban. In fact, the 22 year old defected from his country and the Castro regime to pursue his dreams of Major League baseball in the United States. Iglesias was diplomatic in his assessment of Guillens’ comments. “It’s his decision. I don’t really care what he says. We’re here to play baseball, or manage, not for politics. Thaat’s not our business. Playing the game. That’s what I’m here for. I’m not here because I hate Fidel. I’m here because I love baseball.”
Iglesias thinks there could be an impact at the ballpark in South Florida. Maybe a Cuban boycott? “Probably. There are a lot of Cuban people in Miami. If they hear that (Guillens’ comments), they’re going to be sad. A lot of bad has happened in the last 50 years. ” Iglesias feels fortunate, but he knows the people of previous generations, like his father and grandfather didn’t have it so easy. “I had a normal time in Cuba. Back in the old days, it waws more difficult for everybody.”.
I think Joses’ comments were on the mild side and that Guillen has created a furor, not only with the Cubans, but also with anyone that cares a whiff about humanity.