Former White Sox manager and current Miami Marlins skipper Ozzie Guillen has stepped in quite a few piles of crap in his day, but his latest blunder is going to be pretty hard for him to overcome.
Guillen was suspended for five games Tuesday after he angered Cuban-Americans by telling Time magazine that he loves Fidel Castro and respects the retired Cuban leader for staying in power for so long.
That's not the smartest thing for the Marlins manager to say after the team just opened its new ballpark in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami. The team is trying to rebuild its fans base with the help of South Florida's large Cuban-American population.
I wish the Marlins a lot of luck with that now. These people look pretty pissed.
Guillen apologized profusely in two languages Tuesday, but here's the problem for Ozzie: This isn't the first time he's praised Castro.
Sun-Times columnist Rick Telander noted today that Guillen brought Castro up in a Sept. 2008 interview. The exchange went like this:
Telander: Who is the toughest man you know?
Guillen: Fidel Castro
Guillen: "He's a bull---- dictator and everybody's against him, and he still survives, has power. Still has a country behind him. Everywhere he goes, they roll out the red carpet. I don't admire his philosophy; I admire him.''
This is Chicago, so nobody really noticed those remarks at the time. But in Miami, that would be enough to start a riot. Now that Guillen has praised Castro not once but twice in interviews, I can see how some people would be reluctant to accept his apologies. After something like this, I have a feeling Ozzie is out of mulligans. One more slip of the tongue, and he's gonna get canned. Not even Baseball Tonight will want to hire him.
Meanwhile, White Sox fans are glad they don't have to deal with this garbage anymore. The circus has left town. Ozzie is Miami's problem now. Around here, we can just focus on baseball. Kinda refreshing, isn't it?