“I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that (SOB) is still here.” – Ozzie Guillen, Miami Marlins manager
Well that didn’t take long.
Ozzie Guillen, just five regular-season games into his tenure as Miami Marlins manager has stuck his foot in his mouth. This time, however, he does so while possibly alienating the city for which he is employed.
It’s one thing to spout off at the mouth as he did just days earlier with this little gem:
“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 don’t have time, 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.”
But it is another to say you respect a dictator who has caused immeasurable pain to people throughout Miami and Cuba itself. Thinking before he speaks has never been Ozzie’s strong point. Now, more than ever, he needs to learn that his words carry weight, especially on the subject of Latin American politics.
While his first major dust-up in the media regarding political subjects came after his comments about Hugo Chavez being someone he is someone he “likes” as a man. While he may like him as a person, his political policies make him a lightning rod topic no matter how you view him.
There is already talk of Ozzie Guillen being on the hot seat in Miami. While I don’t buy that, I do feel a strong message needs to be sent to make him realize that as a public figure it isn’t okay to say certain things and speak with foul language. Baseball is a family game, and the commissioner would be wise to use this opportunity to call Ozzie’s bluff and see just how much this game means to him.
Should Ozzie become someone else? Absolutely not. I enjoy his personality and think he can be a fantastic ambassador for the game of baseball. I just think the chip on his shoulder needs to be resolved so we can all move on and not think about things that don’t matter at a time when baseball is exploding into the general consciousness again.
Former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor once said “silence is not inherently religious.” This when speaking on moments of silence. Ozzie would do wise in realizing it also isn’t a bad thing.