Ozzie Guillen is being punished for expressing an opinion. Which sounds like something that would happen in Castro's Cuba, and not the Free World. Obviously as a private entity, the Marlins have the right to suspend Guillen. Guillen's remarks have incited a PR nightmare of Biblical proportions. Expressing admiration for Castro in Miami is like going to Tel Aviv and praising Hitler's public works projects. It's a really stupid thing to do.
But what did Guillen actually say? I'm having extreme difficulty finding the full quote. All I can find is that he said "I love Castro." But I doubt he said that without being asked a question, and I doubt he said that without adding more. Guillen is not a three-word-answer type of guy. He speaks in tangents.
So where's the rest of the tangent?
Time Magazine has the full story available online, but only to subscribers. And I don't subscribe to Time. Why would I?
And every other paper, blog, cable news site, pundit pool and sports radio station only features the "I love Castro," part of the quote. Then the writer takes over with their opinions about Guillen, Castro, Cuban-Americans, the Marlins, and so on.
I finally found the real quote. Thank you, Broward Palm Beach New Times:
"I love Fidel Castro... You know why? Many people have tried to kill Fidel Castro in the last 60 years, yet that [SOB] is still there."
It doesn't seem so horrific now, does it. It's just a stupid thing to say.
And did he say it in English or Spanish? Why is nobody asking these questions before they spit out their opinions one way or another? Are we so addicted to outrage in this country that we don't ask questions, we just get pissed?
The Marlins have been inundated with complaints, protests, and boycotts from the Cuban community in Miami. Understandably so. These are people who were forced out of their homeland by Castro. And people who still have relatives living under Castro's regime.
Will a 5 game suspension ease their anger? Maybe for a day. But their real anger is at Castro, not Guillen. And at the end of the 5 game suspension, Castro's still alive, and Guillen's job is still to manage a baseball team. Which is more important?
Ken Rosenthal wants a month long suspension. Wow. Because that's what we do in America? Lobby for people to be punished as harshly as possible for saying something stupid? This is the same guy who in 2008 insinuated that the Red Sox were a racist club because they had so many white players. He then back-tracked and tried to explain his remarks. I wonder if Mr. Rosenthal was clamoring for his own suspension back then for saying stupid stuff.
I really think after this media firestorm that Guillen will not talk about Castro ever again. He's not an idiot. A 5 game or a month long suspension isn't necessary to shut him up. His own common sense and desire to manage a ballclub will give him some self-censorship.
Getting Ozzie Guillen to sincerely apologize about anything is enough for me. He's not the apologizing type. If a 5 game suspension will quiet the enraged masses, then that makes sense for the Marlins. But this whole story is why I hate the media. Three words, no context, and suddenly Guillen is a pro-communist villain.
It's disgusting. And if we read about something like this happening in Cuba we'd all say "Thank God we don't live there. We live in a free country."