Rounding Third: Guillen apologetic, but will it be enough?
Philadelphia, PA – Ozzie Guillen spoke from the heart on Tuesday when he faced the music for his comments in Time magazine praising former Cuban leader Fidel Castro and seemed to hit all the right notes in apologizing.
"I'm very embarrassed. I'm very sad," Guillen said. "I let the ballclub down."
But did he do enough to soothe a fan base that is calling for his head?
I'm not so sure. The Marlins announced before his media session on Tuesday that he would be suspended five games, but I still think there is a good chance we may have seen the last of Guillen in a Marlins uniform.
Someone on television last night asked, would Joe Girardi survive in New York if he praised Osama Bin Laden? Why should this be any different?
This is no longer a baseball issue. At the end of the day, the Miami Marlins are a business and Guillen is just bad business. But, then again, the Marlins knew what they were getting when they signed him.
Whether it has been his profanity-laced tirades at his own players and countless umpires, the questioning of MLB in regards to his belief that Asian players get preferential treatment compared to Latin players, his feelings toward gays, his own family openly criticizing the Chicago White Sox organization and countless other things, Guillen has done his fair share of embarrassing not only himself but every organization he has ever been associated with.
So none of us should be surprised by this, especially since he once had positive things to say about Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, a long admirer of Castro.
Owner Jeffrey Loria just built a brand new stadium, one that sits in the Little Havana section of Miami. He has 37,000 seats to fill following an offseason that saw him dole out $191 million.
The last thing he needs are boycotts and sponsors threatening to pull out.
I do believe Guillen is sorry, but that may not be enough this time. The Guillen we saw on Tuesday was a different one than we have ever seen before. He was sincerely apologetic, but sometimes sorry just doesn't cut it.
"It was misinterpreted by what I mean in Spanish," he said.
Guillen said he was trying to say that he couldn't believe that someone who has hurt so many "is still in power" and added he did not share Castro's ideology.
The Marlins could finish in last place for five years in a row and nobody would care, but you say something like that and the city is going to call for the manager's head. And Guillen should have known that. He's been a Miami resident for years. But he doesn't think. That is his problem. He offends someone every time he opens his mouth.
How can Guillen look his first baseman Gaby Sanchez, whose parents were born in Cuba, in the face? Or Marlins Spanish-language announcer Felo Ramirez, who fled Cuba? Or countless others just walking down the street?
Guillen may have apologized, but the damage he has done may be irreversible.
Plus, what exactly has he done to warrant staying around? Why does he constantly get away with his actions? Yeah the White Sox won a World Series in 2005, but he only took them to the postseason on one other occasion.
Let's be honest, we are not exactly talking about Casey Stengel here. How many chances is he going to get? He doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt because he hasn't earned it.
You know the next fiasco is right around the corner with him.
Guillen is impressed that Castro has been able to stay in power for as long as he has. We should all be impressed that Guillen has been able to survive for as long as he has.