Just how bad of an offense was Ozzie Guillen's interview with Time magazine in which he said he "loved" Fidel Castro? Well, the Miami Marlins have slapped Guillen with a five-game suspension, the same type of punishment the MLB would dole out for a pitcher intentionally throwing at someone. "The pain and suffering caused by Fidel Castro cannot be minimized especially in a community filled with victims of the dictatorship," the Marlins organization said in a statement picked up by ESPN before announcing Guillen was suspended for five games.
Guillen had told Time's Sean Gregory, "I love Fidel Castro," in an interview that was posted on Monday (it was the lead sentence in the profile). Time chalks some of Guillen's non sequitur to the bizarre coach/team/manager-speak and dynamic, but professing your love for the Cuban dictator in a city that's home to many Cuban immigrants probably isn't the best thing. Guillen went on to say, "I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that [expletive] is still there."
Guillen's comments in USA Today, echo the same, umm ... admiration for Castro's sturdiness. "I meant that I was surprised Fidel Castro stayed in power so long. That's what was missing in the translation. ... I'm not saying the journalist was wrong. I was wrong. I was thinking in Spanish and I said it wrong in English." And ESPN notes that Castro's survival is something Guillen was harping on in a Men's Journal article in 2008, when he stated : "He's [Castro] a bull---- dictator and everybody's against him, and he still survives, has power. Still has a country behind him. Everywhere he goes they roll out the red carpet. I don't admire his philosophy. I admire him."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.