Originally posted on Full Spectrum Baseball  |  Last updated 4/13/12
White_sox_manager_f319

That’s about the politest way to put it.

In 2006, while manager of the Chicago White Sox, Guillen employed an anti-gay slur in reference to then Chicago Sun-Times columnist, Jay Mariotti. Grant it, there are a lot of reasons to have at it with Jay Mariotti. Nonetheless, when you represent a brand, this isn’t an option. Guillen promptly issued an apology to the gay community and was ordered by Major League Baseball to take sensitivity training.

Remember when Guillen trumpeted his penchant for getting drunk after away games? How about while criticizing harsh measures to crack down on illegal immigrants, he suggested that immigrants were “workaholics” and that many Americans were “lazy”? We are all entitled to our opinions, still the last time I checked – Ozzie Guillen has never been a political pundit. He represented a brand and a very proud Chicago tradition, and even though he brought a World Series trophy to the city for the first time in decades, he represented it very badly.

So, now that Ozzie Guillen is managing the Miami Marlins, why should we expect anything different? Just days after the opening of his first season with the team, he found himself behind a bank of microphones apologizing again. This time it was for telling Time magazine that he “love[d]” Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Whaa?

“I respect Fidel Castro,” Ozzie Guillen explained. “You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that [expletive] is still here.”

Ozzie Guillen, a Venezuelan by birth and U.S. citizen by choice, said he meant to express qualified admiration for only the dictator’s longevity and resilience, not for his ideology or methods. I can think of a million metaphors for longevity and resilience. Not once does Fidel Castro enter into the mix.

What the heck was he thinking? Does he realize the address of that new stadium he calls home? He’s smack in the middle of Little Havana, a fiercely anti-Castro Cuban community. Throughout Miami, politicians, including Cuban American elected officials, are calling for Mr. Guillen’s ouster.

So the Marlins, who recently moved into a $600 million-plus, publicly financed stadium, found itself in the midst of a public relations nightmare. The team took action this week and suspended the manager for five games. Somewhere, Kenny Williams (G.M. for the Chicago White Sox) is uncontrollably laughing.

Major League Baseball and team owners have a wide latitude in dealing with employees who besmirch a club’s image and potentially damage the league’s financial prospects. Players, managers and even team owners have been sanctioned or were forced to resign for uttering racist comments that were universally understood to be beyond the pale. Marge Schott rings a bell, which is funny. In an Op-Ed piece this week, The Washington Post felt that Guillen’s comments were not equivalent. I say, how so? Didn’t Marge Scott say that she supported the domestic policies of Germany under the Nazi regime? How is that different?

Ultimately, misunderstood Ozzie Guillen is like a bad reoccurring character on “Saturday Night Live”. It might have been funny the first time but now it seems tired and old. He said that he translated into English badly what he was thinking in Spanish. I’m sorry. Guillen has been in the country for too long and his mastery of the language is too good.

Ozzie Guillen was thoughtless. If anyone should be able to empathize with the victims of a dictatorship, it should be someone who is from Venezuela. Also, he with one fell swoop insulted a group of people who, like him, chose to be Americans. You know what the difference between him and the people of Little Havana are? They weren’t lucky enough to swing their way out of their country.

Unlike The Washington Post, I do think that these comments are as bad as what Al Campanis of the Los Angeles Dodgers and John Rocker of the Atlanta Braves did. Do I applaud the Marlins for taking swift action? Yes. Do I think that Guillen got off a bit easy? Absolutely. I just hope that the people of Little Havana don’t start speaking with their wallets, because if they do, this could be a bigger problem than the Braves or Dodgers ever faced.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bright future for Minnesota Timberwolves

Eli and Archie Manning say Peyton won’t likely leave Denver if he plays in 2016

NCAA mulls changes to graduate transfer and targeting rules

Cavs active in NBA trade market, covet Jared Dudley

Roger Goodell expectedly dodges Patriots-related questions at Super Bowl

Baltimore Orioles acquire starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

USC athletic director Pat Haden to retire in June

Report: Browns owner ‘frustrated, emotional’ about Johnny Manziel

Raiders and Texans to play MNF game in Mexico City in 2016

Goodell wants to keep Raiders, Chargers in home markets

Deadly shooting breaks out at Dublin boxing weigh-in

Mike Shula vs. Wade Phillips: The best story of Super Bowl 50

WATCH: Avery Bradley nails buzzer beater to beat Cavs

WATCH: Jimmy Butler taken to locker room in wheel chair

Klay Thompson's first five years in historical context

WATCH: Cubs' Kris Bryant went swimming with sharks

Sports Authority taking steps to file for bankruptcy

Major League Baseball threatens to disassociate from DraftKings

NFL considering moving Pro Bowl to Australia

Joe Montana warns NFL players about potential long-term damage after retirement

Report: Two people fired for leaking Jason Pierre-Paul information

USMNT are big favorites against Canada

‘Crying Jordan’ photographer had no idea it existed until this week

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in the NHL playoff hunt

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Johnny Manziel dropped by agent

Michael Irvin: Cowboys should save Manziel

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

The merits of trading Blake Griffin to the Hornets

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

Could the Marlins contend in 2016?

Report: Browns to cut Manziel in March

Browns rip Manziel in statement

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker