Why Ozzie Matters
Ozzie Guillén, manager of the newly re-minted Miami Marlins, has earned himself a five-game suspension by declaring his affection for Cuban dictator Fidel Castro in Time magazine:
“I love Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that son of a bitch is still there.”
Many entities survive through unsavory methods—cockroaches and kudzu vines spring to mind. But Guillén wasn’t praising some neutral long-lived thing, he was admiring the machismo of the man who has spent more than six decades trampling on the freedoms of his fellow ballplayers.
Sure, Ozzie Guillén is a character, a notorious hot head and loose with his words, but these comments are more than just shooting from the hip as some have suggested. His apology and confused explanation are at best weak sauce. As a Venezuelan, Guillén should know better, and it seems sometimes he does, at least when it comes to his own country. Guillén has been fortunate enough to make a successful career for himself in America, hired as he has been to manage a MLB team in the city with our largest community of Cuban ex-patriots and playing (and winning) baseball this very week in the birthplace our liberty. He should perhaps think of the less fortunate trapped in Cuba before he exercises his freedom to speak.