Ozzie Guillén Respects Fidel Castro, People Lose Their Minds

Apr 9, 2012 by

OzzieOzzie Guillén truly is an incredible person, and that’s not necessarily meant to be a compliment. Guillén’s incredible mostly because he provides a never-ending stream of absurd statements and partly because he does it while being a generally successful manager. His latest:

“I love Fidel Castro. I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that motherfucker is still here.”

Proper context has to be given of course, and I’m not sure what it was in this case. I do know you’d be hard-pressed to find many more idiotic things a public figure in Miami can do in life than to compliment a dude like Castro.

But don’t you think Guillén was just trying to be funny? He does that a lot. And when he’s not trying to be funny, he’s being unintentionally funny (check his Twitter). That’s why Ozzie is among the more famous managers in all of sports over the past decade.

Some people didn’t really care if he was trying to be funny. A group of Cuban-American demonstrators plans to boycott the Miami Marlins as a result of Guillén’s comments. Vigilia Mambisa (headed by Miguel Saavedra) said it plans to begin a caravan of cars on Tuesday that will culminate in front of the Marlins shiny new ballpark.

Seriously? A caravan of cars because Guillén said he “respects” Castro? To think his comments were an actual endorsement of the Cuban dictator really does take a special kind of hyper-sensitivity.

But I guess a lot of people can’t just roll their eyes at Guillén’s bad judgment and move along with their day. Ken Rosenthal said his comments were “about as extreme and insensitive as it gets,” and then says that the Marlins should suspend him for 30 days. That’s kind of crazy — Craig Calcaterra seems to think so, too:

“I can think of A LOT of things that would be more extreme and insensitive than what Guillén said.  I mean, really, has anyone asked Luke Scott about the Trayvon Martin shooting yet?  That could be fun.”

And he couldn’t be more right. A 30-day suspension would be ridiculous. Players have assaulted a fan with a chair, shoved a cameramen to the ground, punched their manager in the face, punched their wife in the face, got charged with two DUIs … and they haven’t been suspended for thirty days. It’s not going to happen to Guillén, and it shouldn’t.

It would actually make more sense if Ozzie were suspended for his self-described post-game routine:

“I get drunk because I’m happy we win or I get drunk because I’m very sad and disturbed because we lose. Same routine, it never changes. It’s been the same routine for 25, 28 years. It doesn’t change. I don’t like to go out. I’ve got to be here early, and I go to sleep so drunk that I have to recover in time to go to the park.”

That’s amazing and sadly kind of impressive. Guillén has crossed so many imaginary borderlines it’s hard to keep up. Sometimes he doesn’t back down from them, and sometimes he’s forced to apologize.

But instead of letting the Outrage Industrial Complex take over, maybe people should take a page out of Bill Maher’s philosphy:

“We need to learn to coexist, and it’s actually pretty easy to do. For example, I find Rush Limbaugh obnoxious, but I’ve been able to coexist comfortably with him for 20 years by using this simple method: I never listen to his program. The only time I hear him is when I’m at a stoplight next to a pickup truck.”

I happen to enjoy listening to Guillén’s rants (most of the time). If you don’t, then instead of declaring Holy War on him, maybe you should just … not listen.

Ozzie Guillen



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  1. Jarred

    My only thing is.. this has to be close to the equivalent of sitting in NY and saying you thought Hitler was “misunderstood”..

  2. I get what the Marlins did suspending him for 5 games. I don’t really agree with it, but they just want to cover their ass before this gets even crazier. Lots of wealthy Cuban-Americans in Miami … maybe they’ll be deterred from being outraged with this move, even just a little.

    • Seeing as the Marlins have averaged 20k fans per game over the course of an entire season only twice since 1998 (including a horrendous 16k fans/game average in 03 when they won a title!!), this was a no-brainer of a choice to suspend him. Since Ozzie has a tendency to regularly speak his mind, he better start winning games and putting butts in seats or he might have no choice but to take his talents away from South Beach.

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