It is no secret at all that Miami Marlins Coach Ozzie Guillen has a motor mouth laden with gasoline and flint sparks. Ozzie Guillen outraged the large base of Cuban American immigrants in the very hovel in which the New Marlins Ballpark is situated. This is a case where Ozzie has once again placed himself in a predicament, this time more severe than any mistake he ever made.
Some of the locals were willing to forgive and forget, while others called for his firing. If there is any lesson to take from the Time magazine quote in which he praised Fidel Castro for his longevity amid a series of assassination attempts, it is that politics and baseball do not mix. Furthermore, the fact that the local population are as outraged as they were proves two things, they are desperate for attention, and it shows that Ozzie Guillen is in a position of influence.
With Guillen returning against the challenging Chicago Cubs P Ryan Dempster, starting the floundering ace Josh Johnson, the focus finally returned to baseball. Finally, the pregame reports from MLB.com were more about the game itself than Guillen, as he sat at home and observed his team go 2-3 under trusted bench coach Joey Cora.
A lot of my fellow fans scratched their heads behind the old regime’s lack of utilization of team speed. With the acquisition of SS Jose Reyes, from the first through fourth hitter (barring RF Giancarlo Stanton being moved down in the lineup) the Marlins may have the fastest front four in baseball. While the Marlins were wholly dependent on the blast from red hot 3B Hanley Ramirez, it was the impressive pace of Reyes and CF Emilio Bonifacio who set the table for Ramirez as was the plan last night.
Under Guillen, the approach to base running and hitting has been as aggressive as Guillen’s linguistics after a bad loss. However, with the first back-to-back victories and the first save by CP Heath Bell, the focus returns to baseball as the ‘Fish prepare to assert themselves within the competitive division.