That didn't take long, did it?
Raise your hand if you had two as the number of games the Miami Marlins
would play before their first serious Ozzie Guillen
moment. The guy who wrote himself out of the White Sox
****** is already working against himself in South Florida, this time with an inane, thoughtless screed in which he said he loves Fidel Castro
, the brutal dictator who many Marlins fans fled Cuba to escape.
Guillen didn't mean it, of course. There's almost never real brainpower behind what comes out of his mouth.
A Time Magazine reporter simply didn't do Guillen the favor that so many of us have done on an almost daily basis, letting his stream-of-consciousness ramblings go in one ear and out the other. So now the Marlins have a serious choice to make, and it is almost certainly going to end with Guillen being disciplined and then feeling as if he is the one being victimized.
That's the way the lasting trouble with Guillen begins, and thus this incident significantly lessens the chances he will thrive throughout the four-year contract with the Marlins.
But now's not the time to think long-term. Jeffrey Loria
, his front office and his manager were in crisis mode Monday, listening to Cuban American fans threaten boycotts of the glittering new $645 million stadium funded largely by taxpayers, and the question is whether Guillen or his bench coach, Joey Cora, will be in charge of the Marlins when they return for a homestand against the Astros and Cubs
, which begins Friday.
It seems likely that someone is going to suspend Guillen, either Major League Baseball
or the Marlins, because Guillen's comments -- which he hasn't disavowed -- are offensive to both Cuban players and almost anyone of Cuban heritage. Some believe that Loria should make the strongest statement possible and fire Guillen, who also went on a stupid rant in Cincinnati about how all he ever does is go to the hotel bar and get drunk.
Now that's impressive, isn't it?
Guillen's Castro comments were flip, and off the cuff. But the thing about printed words is that they don't go away quickly, and Ozzie certainly should know this by now.
Yet after initially saying he loved Castro, he backed away only enough to say he doesn't love him, he merely respects him. "You know why?'' he asked in the Time piece. "A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that (expletive) is still there."
Yes, he is, and he's a painful reminder about the unfairness of life to the large population of transplanted Cubans -- three generations of people taken out of their country that Castro ruined for his own personal reasons, the biggest of which seems to be an all-consuming need for power. George Diaz, a sports columnist for the South Florida Sun Sentinel, left Cuba behind as a child in 1961, and counts himself lucky because he left with an intact family.