Ozzie Guillen Already Drawing Heat in Miami
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Apr 9, 2012 3:00PM
Ozzie Guillen, always outspoken when he managed the White Sox, is just one series into his new gig as skipper for the Miami Marlins and already he's causing controversy.
The Cuban-American group Vigilia Mambisa is calling for Ozzie Guillen to step down, and plans to boycott and demonstrate against the Marlins until he does so. The protests stem from recent comments Guillen made to Time magazine, stating his love for former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and praising his 50-plus years in power.
Guillen, a Venezuelan native, realized the gravity of his mistake given the large anti-Castro Cuban population in Miami. He issued an apology though the media on Saturday, telling the team's beat reporters from the locker room in Cincinnati:
I will apologize if I hurt somebody's feelings, or I hurt somebody's thought. I want them to know I'm against everything 100 percent - I repeat it again - the way this man (been) treating people for the last 60 years.
In response to the upcoming Time article, the Marlins also jumped into damage control mode, releasing a statement:
There is nothing to respect about Fidel Castro. He is a brutal dictator who has caused unthinkable pain for more than 50 years. We live in a community filled with victims of this dictatorship, and the people in Cuba continue to suffer today.
Are apologies enough in a city with such a large Cuban exile community? Just as the Cuban contingent holds sway in the state's elections, do they have enough pull to get the new manager fired this soon into his tenure?
We have a feeling that he'll keep his job for now... we also suspect that Marlins management won't have the patience for Ozzie's shenanigans that Jerry Reinsdorf and Kenny Williams did. Win or lose, we find it hard to see him remaining in the Marlins dugout for eight years, as he did on the South Side. Even if he can win back the support of the Cuban community, he's likely to piss others off somehow.