Ozzie Guillen finally ran his mouth right into some real trouble. The Marlins are effectively letting him get away with it. And, well, that’s rather inexcusable.
Because I’m a guy who’s all about contest, I think you should know what I was doing from about 10 am til noon earlier today:
-Watched and cringed while people on ESPN made excuses for Ozzie Guillen (more on that later)
-Re-read a pretty good post on the subject (sorta) by Keith Olbermann
-Thought about tweeting something on this subject
-Got motivated to blog about Ozzie Guillen, only to realize that I had to work today
-Got an idea to use a work tablet to post said blog, only to realize that blogging on a tablet while working at a computer is a terrible idea
-Decided to write notes in a notebook (!!!) to put on said Internet blog later
So, let’s just say that I give a crap about this. By now, you should be familiar with what Ozzie Guillen said to get in trouble in the first place. Of course, he has come out and apologized “twice”—(the first apology mentioned him being sick to his stomach—that could have just meant that he had something bad to eat the night before)—even once in Spanish!
[And this is where I interject with a note about the ridiculous Ozzie apologists. I've heard everything from "Well since he doesn't normally speak English, maybe he thought he was saying something different!" to "Part of the reason you even hire Ozzie is because he's so outspoken!" Sure, let's just be enablers every time some fun loving guy that likes to run his mouth says something out of line! If we're going to let people say what they want to say without any sort of boundaries, let's just not get mad at ANYTHING! Yeah...no.]
But this post isn’t (supposed to be) as much about Ozzie as it is his employer. The Marlins suspended Guillen five games for…something. I haven’t quite figured out what this punishment is for just yet. Let’s think about what Guillen said. He respected and loved Fidel Castro. This is a guy who ruined people’s lives in Cuba. People who ended up fleeing to—Miami!!! The new Marlins Park is in–LITTLE HAVANA! There’s no excuse for what he said. Can you think of any other coach in any major sport who would still have a job after saying something like that (or at least suffer a significant suspension/fine)? I’ll wait while you think of someone…
Now, I think it is important to recognize a few things:
-The Marlins just opened a new stadium and spent money on free agents for the first time…ever.
-Ozzie Guillen was hired as manager—in part to appeal to the Latino fan base
-Should Ozzie be suspended for a significant period of time, there’s no telling how such a move would impact the team
But, that shouldn’t have mattered. Ozzie made a statement that could easily offend a group of people that his employer (the Marlins) is trying to cater to. In an effort to show that…they’re “serious about not having stuff like this happen”, they slap Guillen on the wrist. (Mind you, this is a Marlins team that sent Logan Morrison to the minors for essentially being too social.)
The Marlins seem to be turning a deaf ear to all of this. There are prominent people in the Cuban community who want Guillen fired. You know, the people the Marlins are trying to court as fans! Remember Hank Williams Jr? Al Campanis? I could go on and on with people who have said offensive statements and ended up being punished for it. You shouldn’t be able to get away with what Ozzie said. I know that he was suspended, but you get a five game suspension for throwing behind a batter. I’m sure he feels bad. That just means he has a conscience. The Marlins are dropping the ball big time. I’m not saying that he should be fired, but something more than a slap on the wrist seems warranted here. This type of stuff should never be tolerated, but the Marlins seem to think otherwise.