- 04/10/2012, 01:38AM ET
C-C-C said 04/10, 01:38 AM
Less than a week into the season, Ozzie Guillen is a dead man walking in Miami. The Latin manager with a big World Series ring and a bigger mouth was brought to South Florida to help resurrect a dilapidated franchise
Ozzie is much more than just the manager of the Marlins. Perhaps more than any other team, he is the face of the franchise in the community it represents. A franchise that hasn't been able to draw flies for years opens a new stadium and brings in the only manager that made sense...the crazy Latino who was a coach on the teams last World Series
Typically I'd say you know what you are getting with Ozzie when you hire him so when it happens, you have to bite the bullet and increase the PR staff for a while. That doesn't work here
This wasn't some off the cuff reference to Gays, or women, or umpires. This was the equivalent of a Jewish leader professing allegiance to Hitler in the middle of Tel Aviv. Ozzie can't blame this one on being misunderstood because of bad English. This wasn't a 'mistake'
Any other city and this would be blown off as Ozzie being Ozzie, but in little Cuba, this has the potential to destroy what's left of the Fan base
Mrlns Fn said 04/10, 10:58 PM
You said it yourself... you know what you're getting when you hire Ozzie.
Ozzie should not have been (and is not going to be) fired.
His comments definitely warranted a suspension, and IMO that suspension should've been substantially greater than the 5 game ban the Marlins handed down today. The message needed to be clear - the Marlins absolutely will not let their franchise be besmirched by a lone wolf's crazy and heartless comments. I would've been ok with a suspension of up to as much as 50 games.
But firing him would've been hasty and innapropriate.
For one thing, Guillen's language barrier was partially responsible for this incident. Guillen has made comments before and since that convey his true opinion - while he disagrees with Castro's politics, he admires the fact that Fidel retained power for so long when he had such a large bulls eye on his back.
In essense, Ozzie admires resilience. He could've worded his sentiment much better, but English isn't his first language. That has to be taken into consideration when judging his every word.
Bottom line - it's ok to punish the guy for his poor use of words but firing him would've been too much.
C-C-C said 04/10, 11:39 PM
The "language barrier" argument was appropriate back in 1985 when Ozzie was a rookie SS. After 16 years of playing in the U.S., 12 more years of coaching and managing in the US, and becoming a US citizen (which requires a firm grasp of English) the "language barrier" argument is nothing but a tired crutch. Every time Ozzie gets in hot water he pulls the "My English isn't good" card. Just how many years of speaking English and interacting with English speaking people on a daily basis is necessary before that excuse no long works?
The problem isn't with his intent. Intent doesn't matter here. Any other city and this would be a 3 hour story, barely rating mention in the annals of Ozzieisms. But this isn't any other city. This happens to be the one city in the entire country where the populace despises the man he praised for very good and very personal reasons. This wasn't somewhere he could afford to screw up on that sensitive subject.
This is cheating on your wife, in front of her, with someone who killed her grandfather and uncle, while mocking her, then when you're finished saying "she doesn't mean anything to me baby, lets go home and make love"
Mrlns Fn said 04/11, 03:06 AM
Whether or not Ozzie's English played a role is a fact known to one person - Ozzie Guillen. And I believe him.
Why? Because he said a few years ago, and again today during his apology, that he does NOT support Castro's politics and only admires his longevity in the face of constant opposition.
It's a fair point; the example just sucks. In other words Ozzie has every right to admire Castro's resilience but vocalizing that admiration is dumb because of all the negativity that comes along with Castro. If Ozzie had made the same point about a less controversial figure it would've been easier for the public to swallow, but in all honesty that doesn't even matter.
See, you're wrong, CCC; intent does matter here. Ozzie was making a fair point but said it in such a convoluted way that now we have a ****-storm of controversy. But the most important thing is what Ozzie intended to say, and what he intended to say was not at all hurtful to Cubans or anyone else.
I don't like your analogy, so I'll offer my own:
This is like hearing of a guy cheating on his wife, and after you condemn the man for cheating you say "at least he did it with a really hot girl".
C-C-C said 04/11, 07:21 AM
"I love Fidel Castro"
The interview could have stopped right there. That's all those folks in little Havana needed to hear and Ozzie was done in their eyes.
Ozzie pulled his usual "I no speak good English" as he does every time his foot ends up in his throat. But after 30 years in the States working with English speaking people every day and becoming an American Citizen, he doesn't understand the simple 4 word sentence above? He actually "intended" something else? Sorry, I'm not buying.
This was a prearranged interview for a magazine, not an off the cuff remark at a post game presser. If Ozzie's English were truly that bad is there any doubt he'd have done the interview in Spanish with an interpreter present? He knew what he was saying. He just didn't consider the blowback beforehand. He never does.
Intent does not matter because the people who have to be appeased couldn't care less about intent. You may care if he 'meant' something other than what he actually said, but most of Miami doesn't and that's all that matters. His lack of sensitivity on what is THE most sensitive issue warrants termination in Miami, not necessarily anywhere else.
Mrlns Fn said 04/12, 02:02 AM
You believe that the Cuban population should've stopped at "I love Fidel Castro". The comment he made was stupid, but too many people are looking at those four words in a vacuum. Ozzie said before/since that he doesn't agree with Castro's politics.
These knee-jerk reactions need to stop. It's the same mess we're in right now because of this Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman ordeal. We're picking sides, twisting the "facts" to serve our opinion. And it's not fair to any of the parties involved.
Guillen has repeatedly apologized and said he didn't mean to profess any allegiance to the dictator or his inhumane politics. We need to look at the whole picture and see this for what it is; a poorly worded mistake.
Mistakes don't require firing. Mistakes are an opportunity to learn and better yourself, which Ozzie is doing.
There's a precedent here, mainly amongst liberals. This same issue of TIME magazine lists Che Guevara as a "hero and icon". Jesse Jackson, arm in arm with Castro, once shouted "Viva Fidel! Viva Che!". Former democratic presidential candidate George McGovern said he likes Fidel and considers him a friend. Same with Jimmy Carter.
Nobody fired them.
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