12:48 PM CDT, April 10, 2012
The Miami Marlins suspended Ozzie Guillen for the exact reason they hired him as manager:
Because he says things.
Some of the things Guillen says are stupid. Some are flat outrageous. Most are wonderfully entertaining.
In this case, Guillen said he loved Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. That’s the way it came out from an interview in Time magazine, but it was clear that Guillen meant more, something different.
Guillen was talking about the despot’s ability to stay alive the last 50 years despite so many people trying to kill him. Guillen amended the statement to say he respected that accomplishment. Guillen was talking about evading something that literally might be sudden death.
I think we all get that. I did, anyway. It was a very narrow bit of praise. But it doesn’t take much these days. It doesn’t take many people, either. Just loud ones. One guy with Mr. Microphone, even.
That’s all it took for the Marlins, as well. Whether they meant it or not, and I’m doubting their sincerity, the Marlins seized a great opportunity to act like sensitive members of a local community teeming with Cubans.
Gain some good local publicity. Make nice with the expatriates. And all the while revel in the jackpot of being able to punish the man for doing exactly what they hired him to do.
During an hour-long news conference-slash-apology Tuesday, Guillen said he was “very embarrassed and very sad.’’ Maybe, maybe not. Guillen also said he was hired to manage the team, not talk politics.
Nope. Wrong. Uh-uh.
Guillen was hired to manage the Marlins and talk about everything and anything for the attention-starved and attendance-challenged franchise. Wise up, people.
I don't know whether the protesters figured it out, but I believe Guillen knows it and I believe the people who hired him know it. I believe the Marlins just swept their first doubleheader of the year.
Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC