FanDuel - WFBC

April 08, 2012

Ozzie Guillen: 'I Love Fidel Castro': As the Miami Marlins try to fill their new stadium, a comment by manager Ozzie Guillen probably won't help. "I love Fidel Castro…I respect Fidel Castro," he told Time magazine. "You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that [expletive] is still there." He subsequently apologized. "I'm against everything 100 percent -- I repeat it again -- the way this man (been) treating people for the last 60 years," he said.

posted by rcade to baseball at 04:36 PM - 24 comments

Oh, Ozzie. Never change, man.

His twitter feed is a must follow for inane, shot-from-the-hip, bilingual craziness. Or at least it has been in the past. Here's hoping the Marlins don't shut him down after this incident.

posted by Ufez Jones at 09:07 PM on April 08

"I will apologize if I hurt somebody's feelings, or I hurt somebody's thought ..."

Or he wouldn't have otherwise?

Ozzie in Miami ... whether he's drunk or sober, this season ought to be fun.

posted by jjzucal at 08:49 AM on April 09

Eh, it sounds more like a joke than an actual opinion on the reign of Fidel Castro. The half-apology is lame but I'm not surprised. Ozzie is probably annoyed at us for being so sensitive and, let's face it, we're all more sensitive than Ozzie Guillen.

posted by tron7 at 10:31 AM on April 09

Ozzie, comments about Fidel have lost a touch of inflammatoribility over the decades. Haul out the off-the-cuff Elian Gonzalez comments and let's get this party started.

posted by beaverboard at 11:13 AM on April 09

Here's hoping the Marlins don't shut him down after this incident.

But Bud Selig might. Marge Schott's quote about a certain German dictator from 70-80 years ago earned her a suspension from day to day operations for a season back in the late 90s. Held to that standard, Guillen may be looking at some enforced time off himself.

posted by NerfballPro at 09:11 AM on April 10

Marge Schott - oh, the treasured memories.

Does Ozzie have a big dog who shits on the rug?

posted by beaverboard at 09:21 AM on April 10

He has Carlos "El Toro" Zambrano, the bull who often loses his shit on the mound.

posted by dyams at 10:46 AM on April 10

Well, the Marlins have taken it upon themselves, and suspended Guillen for five games.

My two thoughts on this: a. Is it so far fetched to have a certain amount of begrudging respect for someone who has, as Guillen pointed out, survived in a very hostile world for 60 years? It doesn't speak to the man's character or the soundness of his policies at all. You can believe that the man is a complete piece of shit and should be strung up like the rotting pinata himself, Benito Moussolini. But you can also respect the fact that he is a survivor.

b. Even if you do believe that, you manage in Miami. You should be suspended for being so incredibly stupid that you publicly acknowledge any respect you have for the most hated man in town.

So Ozzie, you're not being suspended for politics; you're being suspended for public idiocy. Sound fair? Good.

posted by tahoemoj at 11:26 AM on April 10

That's pretty much it, tahoemoj. It is Miami, which means that you must follow the party line by saying everything Castro is bad.

posted by bperk at 12:00 PM on April 10

Guillen may have punched his ticket out of town already with the staggering stupidity of his remarks. Praising Castro in South Florida? Not only does this alienate the many Cubans already in Florida, but the team is banking on the idea that normalization is coming after the Castros and Cubans will be able to come over freely.

(Personally, I'd rather see a team in Havana when that happens.)

posted by rcade at 12:04 PM on April 10

How soon people forget...

posted by grum@work at 02:47 PM on April 10

Even cutting him some slack and saying that the quotes are really a poor choice of words that came out that way in the Spanish/English translation, I don't think the 5 game suspension was enough. Should've been more like 20-25 games.

Firing or resigning? No. And I bet all will be forgiven if/when Guillen brings home a World Series title.

posted by NerfballPro at 04:05 PM on April 10

I bet all will be forgiven if/when Guillen brings home a World Series title.

I'll take the sidebet that Fidel outlasts Guillen's time at the Marlins.

And I'd agree with rcade that a post-Castro franchise in Havana would be preferable to Miami vacuuming up the island's baseball talent along with its '57 Chevys.

posted by etagloh at 05:06 PM on April 10

Gee while I understand the bad business effects of this statement for the Marlins and could understand why management is outraged at the possible alienation of some of their fan base, I thought the very difference between Castro's Cuba and the USA is the right to say what you think even if some find it offensive. If the guy loves Castro so what. Pissing off your employer, well that is just plain stupid. To bad the Cuban nationals living in South Florida are having a tough time with the American tradition of tolerance for the opposing viewpoint. If you want to live in a country where everyone has to have the same political viewpoint, why leave Cuba in the first place?

posted by Atheist at 11:54 AM on April 11

Every time somebody says something stupid, the argument is made that responding to the stupidity is an affront to free speech. If I may speak freely, that's stupid.

Miami's Cuban-American community -- they're not Cuban nationals once they put a dry foot on American soil -- are not being intolerant by expressing their opinion of Guillen's remarks.

posted by rcade at 12:08 PM on April 11

The firm where I work represents certain clients. Let's say I make a public statement that is not only against the interest of, but extremely offensive to those clients. That is my right as an American (so long as it doesn't violate my ethical responsibilities). It is also that client's right as an American to make their displeasure with my statement known. If my employer feels that my statement has alienated that client, and therefore a source of income, is is my employer's right to suspend and/or fire me to placate that source of income and keep it available to the firm. It's not a free speech issue or an attempt at political homogeneity. It's the right of people to cease to patronize businesses that do not share their beliefs, and the attempts those businesses make to maintain their client base.

posted by tahoemoj at 12:29 PM on April 11

Isn't that exactly what I said. He pissed off his boss by pissing off his customers and that was stupid. The boss has every right to fire him. Cuban-Americans have every right to also express their opinion and frankly refuse to go to Marlins games if they choose. But it is important to remember, this guy is a baseball manager not a Rhodes scholar. I think Cuban Americans should express their opinions, but if they were to boycott Marlins games for example in an effort to pressure management to fire him, I would just find it ironic that they come to a country for freedom and then show intolerance toward someone expressing theirs.

Tahoemoj - did you see the movie The Help? Great movie saw it last night and it in some ways demonstrates how those with an agenda can through organized pressure and boycott deprive others of their freedoms by exercising their own.

In the McCarthy era, if a person had what was considered socialist viewpoints, others who happened to be in powerful enough numbers, could prevent people from working by threatening to boycott businesses or blacklist individuals for having differing opinions or viewpoints. While it may be legal and just people exercising their rights, it doesn't make it right. Tolerance is the very basis for a free society. Trying to deprive a guy from his living because his political viewpoint differs or is unpopular may be legal but IMO still on some level wrong.

posted by Atheist at 01:30 PM on April 11

Y'know, on re-reading your previous post, I get it. I'm not certain why it didn't click before (maybe now I'm sufficiently caffienated), but I get it. I think there was a disconnect on the argument you were making, which was not political as much as it was an observation.

There is a fair amount of irony in the fact that people who ostensibly came to this country to enjoy certain freedoms are, in essence, shouting down someone who exercised that freedom in a manner inconsistent with their own beliefs.

posted by tahoemoj at 02:55 PM on April 11

There is a fair amount of irony in the fact that people who ostensibly came to this country to enjoy certain freedoms are, in essence, shouting down someone who exercised that freedom in a manner inconsistent with their own beliefs.

The people came here for freedom to pursue the life they chose and to have freedom from the government telling them what to say or do. They did not come here to tolerate some asshole talking about shit he knows nothing about. Furthermore, I'm aware of no American tradition whereby anyone is required to put up with such an asshole.

posted by bperk at 08:18 PM on April 11

They did not come here to tolerate some asshole talking about shit he knows nothing about.

Sure they did. They don't have to like it, but they have to tolerate it. They don't have to buy Marlins tickets, and they're free to express their own opinions, but they absolutely have to tolerate the stupid shit others say.

posted by tahoemoj at 09:15 PM on April 11

I don't think that is what tolerating means. If they don't buy tickets, voice their opinion, and get Guillen in trouble, that is not tolerating. Tolerating would be not saying or doing anything to interfere with the stupidity Guillen is saying.

posted by bperk at 08:31 AM on April 12

I think bperk's got the right of it, as far as the dictionary definition of "tolerate". I'm not so sure that "some asshole talking about shit he knows nothing about" is in any way a description of the current situation, which I think would be more accurately described as "someone expressing a contrary opinion about something about which I/we have a highly charged opinion of my/our own".

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:12 AM on April 12

I don't think that is what tolerating means.

I'm happy enough writing that off as a difference in opinion on semantics. I think we see pretty eye to eye on the whole "Ozzie is a fool for saying what he did" thing. Guess I was just backtracking on my initial attack on atheist's post, which sort of attacked a position he didn't really take.

posted by tahoemoj at 11:23 AM on April 12

I think would be more accurately described as "someone expressing a contrary opinion about something about which I/we have a highly charged opinion of my/our own".

His whole apology puts that idea to rest though, doesn't it? I don't think there is much in Guillen's history to suggest he is easily persuaded to say what people want to hear.

posted by bperk at 11:46 AM on April 12

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