Ozzie Guillen is one of the most outspoken managers in all of baseball and has been making outrageous comments on Chicago airways for the past eight years, but White Sox fans grew to love the craziness. Ozzie was added amusement to an already entertaining game of baseball. This time, he went way too far in his statement made in a Time magazine online story. Let’s just say he’s getting the HEAT of Miami and I’m not referring to climate or basketball.
Guillen is starting his first season as the manager of the recently renamed Miami Marlins and he isn’t doing a very good job creating a fan following. He was quoted in the Time piece saying “I love Fidel Castro,” and later in the story goes on to say, “I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that (expletive) is still here.”
Miami is the home to over a million Cubans in population – primarily because it is the closest major city in the U.S. to the borders of Cuba. Fidel Castro and his dictatorship are the reason the people of Cuba had to leave their homes in paradise and find refuge in the United States, my family included. In 1962 my grandparents had to leave literally all of their belongings and get on a plane with my dad and aunt to escape the corrupt government. Castro’s ruthless treatment has completely ruined the economical status of Cuba, the country is in a state of poverty, they still drive cars from the 1950s! To no surprise, Guillen’s remarks created a predictable outcry — and to think the Marlins were counting on Guillen to bring a buzz and identity to a team lacking popularity.
The Marlins distanced themselves from Guillen’s ignorant remarks immediately, releasing a statement on Friday that said: “There is nothing to respect about Fidel Castro. He is a brutal dictator who has caused unthinkable pain for more than 50 years. We live in a community filled with victims of this dictatorship, and the people in Cuba continue to suffer today.”
Criticism is not a new thing for Guillen, often described as a “loose cannon”, but Guillen has instead sounded remorseful and said he’s had difficulty sleeping since the Time magazine online story ran Friday.
Guillen, born in Venezuela, has lived in Miami for the past 12 years. USAtoday.com quoted Guillen, “I feel sad because I know I hurt a lot of people. I’m Latino. I live in Miami. I have a lot of (Cuban) friends and players. They know who I am. They know how I feel.”
You have a lot of apologizing to do Mr. Guillen, you’ve lost yourself many new fans and even some old ones for your ignorance this time.