Ozzie Guillen, manager of Major League baseball's Miami Marlins has been suspended by the team for 5 games following some ridiculous remarks he made about Fidel Castro.
The Marlins released a statement Tuesday morning, saying, "The Marlins acknowledge the seriousness of the comments attributed to Guillen. The pain and suffering caused by Fidel Castro cannot be minimized, especially in a community filled with victims of the dictatorship."
Time Magazine reported that Guillen said he loves Castro and respects him for staying in power so long.
An emotional Guillen spoke at a Tuesday morning news conference, apologizing again in Spanish before fielding questions in English. He said he was "very embarrassed, very sad."
"I apologize to the people here, outside, and I'm very, very, very sorry about the problem, about what happened. I will do everything to make it better, everything in my power to make it better," Guillen said.
Guillen has been accused of saying he loves Castro, but when asked at the news conference if he loves the former Cuban dictator, he said, "No." The Marlins manager said the reporter in the article misinterpreted his remarks and claimed what he really said in Spanish was, "I cannot believe that someone who has hurt so many people over the years is still alive."
Guillen, who is from Venezuela, repeatedly told reporters he is not pro-Castro or pro-Hugo Chavez.
"I'd prefer to die than vote for Chavez," Guillen said in Spanish.
A Miami resident, Guillen said that fixing his problem with the community is more important to him than his suspension.
Guillen coached the Chicago White Sox for 8 years and was in constant hot water with the press over his comments. He made good copy but was known for sticking his foot in his mouth on more than one occassion.
The Marlins just built a new stadium, were sold to a new owner, went out and spent a lot of money on talent, and hired Guillen because he's a proven winner and is a natural fit with the heavily Hispanic community in Miami. He has gotten off on the wrong foot with the Cuban-American population and it is questionable whether he can ever regain their affections.
Saying you love Castro in Miami is like saying you love Hitler in Tel Aviv. He deserves at least 5 games and is probably lucky he isn't fired.