Ozzie Guillen suspended 5 games for comments about Fidel Castro

Lost in translation: Ozzie Guillen suspended, blames it on "thinking in Spanish"

4/10/12 in MLB   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

Apr 8, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen (13) signals for a pinch runner during the seventh inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark. The Reds defeated the Marlins 6-5. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIREThe Miami Marlins, in an effort to appease their immense Cuban-American fan base, have suspended manager Ozzie Guillen for making comments about his admiration for Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

Guillen apologized for his comments, saying that he didn't intend to say he loved or respected Castro, but that it came out that way in English, because he was thinking in Spanish, his native tongue.

"I don't want to make excuses, but I meant that I was surprised Fidel Castro stayed in power so long. That's what was missing in the translation. I'm not saying the journalist was wrong. I was wrong. I was thinking in Spanish and I said it wrong in English."

Over 200 fans protested Guillen outside the stadium as he issued his apology, and it looks like his next move will be to work to patch things up with the fans he offended.

"I'm embarrassed. I live in Miami. I will do everything in my power to try to help the Cuban community, the Latino community. I want to walk the streets feeling good. You learn from your mistakes. This was the biggest mistake so far in my life. I'm very guilty ... very embarrassed ... very sad ... very stupid."

Guillen will be suspended without pay for 5 games by the team, and does not plan to fight it at all.

"I'm in no position to complain right now. Fixing my problems with the community is more important than the suspension or the money."

Blog Photo - Ozzie Guillen suspended 5 games for comments about Fidel CastroGood call by Guillen, who knows that his job is a rather precarious one, and he'll need to get the fans back on his side if he hopes to stick around for long. The Marlins have suffered from poor attendance for years, and there will be no reason to keep Guillen around if he continues to alienate the fan base.

Commissioner Bud Selig released a statement saying that Major League Baseball supports the Marlins' decision to suspend Guillen. Here's the statement from Selig:

"Major League Baseball supports today's decision by the Marlins to suspend Ozzie Guillen. As I have often said, Baseball is a social institution with important social responsibilities. All of our 30 Clubs play significant roles within their local communities, and I expect those who represent Major League Baseball to act with the kind of respect and sensitivity that the game's many cultures deserve. Mr. Guillen's remarks, which were offensive to an important part of the Miami community and others throughout the world, have no place in our game."

Some fans still aren't happy, and want Guillen fired on the spot for his comments. While it may be understandable, I believe the Marlins are handling this properly.

For those who think the suspension is too extreme, or who cite "free speech" as the reason Guillen shouldn't face punishment for his comments, it's important to keep in mind that the Marlins have the freedom of speech as an organization, as well. By suspending Guillen, they are making a clear statement that they strongly disagree with his comments and will not tolerate the glorification of brutal dictators, particularly ones who are hated by a huge portion of their fan base.

Kudos to the Marlins and Major League Baseball for taking a stand on a politically charged issue. Hopefully this is the last time Ozzie attempts to talk politics in public.
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4/11/12   |   WhoDat12   |   2252 respect

Blame it on the spa-spa-spa-spa spa-spa Spanish....

4/10/12   |   Scott   |   52641 respect

Ozzie Guillen is a lightning rod for controversy and it was only a matter of time before his mouth got him in trouble.  Unfortunately, the suspension only temporarily puts an end to this matter.  He's still the manager of the Marlins which makes him one of the faces of the organization.  Chances are he'll put his foot into his mouth at least 3 or 4 more times this season