"The Stack" is here for one reason today, and that is to react to the controversy swarming around Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen and his comments about how much he "loves" and "respects" Fidel Castro. So let's get right to "the stack" for today, Tuesday, April 10:
Firestorm brewing around Guillen
This is such a delicate issue to talk about. There are millions of people who are irate over the comments that Guillen made about his admiration for Fidel Castro. Guillen is not from Cuba. He's from Venezuela. So he may not always understand the severity of his words and actions. Ozzie has never had a filter. When he was manager of the Chicago White Sox he constantly ran his mouth that got him in trouble. Ozzie's response to the criticism always was, "if you don't like it, fire me." That ultimately happened. And Miami was quick to pick him up, even trading a couple of players to the White Sox to get the skipper.
The Marlins underwent a major franchise transformation this offseason. New stadium, technically a new name, new logo, new colors, and a renewed commitment to winning by signing players like Jose Reyes and Mark Buerhle and pursuing Albert Pujols. The buzz and excitement around this team was tremendous. And with one quick quote in a story in Time Magazine, the excitement has turned to anger from the Cuban-American population. The Marlins new stadium is located in a part of Miami with a high population of Cuban-Americans. Multiple groups are threatening to boycott the team. Protests are being staged. Ozzie is currently speaking to the media (10:30 AM ET today 4/10). The Marlins have been suspended Ozzie for five games, and there may be more on top of it. Major League Baseball is looking into the situation and an additional suspension and fine may be coming.
English is not Ozzie's first language. Not saying that should be an excuse, but sometimes it is difficult to fully express yourself in a language that is not your native tongue. And there hare people out there who think that Ozzie maybe was trying to say that he respects Castro's longevity, how people are always coming after him and he survived. Had he said that he views Castro as a survivor, there would be people upset, but it would not have turned into the uproar and firestorm that we're seeing now.
Thousands of people lost their lives under Castro's reign. Thousands more were imprisoned. Even more fled the country, swimming to the states, floating to shore on rafts just to escape Fidel and his brutal stranglehold of the country. Ozzie should have known that. Perhaps he does. I'm sure he wishes he had chosen his words differently.
What happens now will be known very shortly. As previously stated, Ozzie has been suspended for five games. But should the Marlins start losing money due to fans boycotting the team, he should be fired. Should he be fired now? That is up for debate. You could ask the same thing of Bobby Petrino at Arkansas. Though what he did is not nearly as bad to a specific group of people as Ozzie's comments are to the Latin community, Petrino should be held accountable for his actions as well. Ozzie should be held accountable too. So let's open it up for discussion. What are your thoughts on this situation? Should Ozzie be fired? Is there an overreaction? What will this do longterm for the Marlins and Ozzie? The floor is open and now yours....
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