I read the quote… “I Love Castro”.
I thought… “Que Come Mierda!” (That means “shit-eating fool” for our English readers).
When the Marlins acquired Ozzie Guillen I knew Miami would be in for a wild ride. So did the fish. In fact, that’s part of the reason why they wanted him. He is loud, charismatic, and brash. But today, Ozzie was none of those things. Today Ozzie was quiet, contrite, and humbled.
This morning, Guillen was suspended by the Marlins for his Castro comments. He also held a personal press conference inside Marlins Park apologizing to a community that views Fidel Castro as their Hitler. For those that think that is an overstatement, you’re wrong. That’s what Fidel Castro is down here, he is our Hitler. He killed everyone and anyone that stood in his way. And the people who were lucky enough to escape his reign fled in exile to build a better life for their families.
Ozzie is a guy that likes to “talk shit”. He says whatever he wants and doesn’t care what you think. Well for the first time he cares. And the Marlins care. BIG TIME. They brought Ozzie here to bring them closer to their latin fan base, not drive them further apart. Yet, they knew that their was a chance that the “Ozzie Guillen Show” could back-fire on them. Politically Ozzie Guillen has been a very polarizing figure in Miami, even before his Castro comments. He has been linked to Hugo Chavez (Castro’s homie and Venezuelan dictator) on several occasions. He appeared on his radio show in Venezuela and has been linked to a video that shows Ozzie chanting “Viva Chavez!”, although Ozzie claims someone else said it. You can be the judge. These moments have rubbed everyone in Miami the wrong way. The Marlins told him when he signed “don’t talk about Chavez”. But they didn’t realize they had to tell him to stay away from Castro talk too.
Ozzie Guillen said the absolute worst possible thing you can say in Miami. He spent over an hour begging for forgiveness. For some it will never be enough and he will always be hated. They think that it’s just an act to save his job. For others the suspension, that national shame, and remorse he feels is enough. Honestly, every minute I change my mind on the subject. As I write this I still don’t know what side I’m on. I think that he should have known just how
ignorant foolish stupid those comments are in Miami. But I also think he was just responding to a question with his normally flippant attitude. He didn’t realize exactly what he said until after the fact.
If he was fired today instead of suspended, I would understand and move on. But he wasn’t. He was suspended and I’m okay with that. I think that’s fair. The Marlins had to do SOMETHING. They couldn’t just sit back and let it get worse. But they also have spent over 3 years trying to get this guy to Miami. They don’t want to let him go 5 games into the regular season (Again, only 5 games in!! That’s a record, even for Ozzie).
On April 17th vs the Chicago Cubs, Ozzie Guillen will return to manage just his second game in the new Marlins stadium. It will be very interesting to see the public reaction when he gets to home plate and hands the umpire his lineup card. I fully expect protestors and people banging on pots and pans (My personal favorites). But what I will be curious to see is if there are any empty seats. Because ultimately, that will be what decides Ozzie Guillen’s fate in Miami and with the Marlins. The Marlins organization has worked very hard to put people in the stands this year. They won’t risk losing paying customers, even for their guy Ozzie.
No matter what, their will be people in Miami that will never forgive Ozzie Guillen and always hate him.
Some will give him a second chance, accept the apology, and try to move one.
There will also be people like me, who are still undecided, willing to let it play out, while looking at him as a Come Mierda!