Miami Marlins Manager Ozzie Guillen Loves Castro, Should Be Fired

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In a Time magazine interview Ozzie Guillen, major league baseball manager of the Miami Marlins and home to the largest number of Cuban expatriates, said that “I love Fidel Castro–I respect Fidel Castro.”

Fidel Castro, along with Che Guevara, have committed countless murders of innocent civilians, incarcerated many more, and the rest exiled to America.  Needless to say Castro is a monster that will take his place on the ash heap of history quite soon.

He apologized but the damage is done.  He denounced Castro, but it’s almost meaningless.  Of course I take him in his sincerity and accept the apology, but that doesn’t mean you are allowed to escape punishment.

There are some pundits and reporters say that this is America and we do have a right of free speech, so the Miami Marlins shouldn’t fire Guillen.  That’s where these pundits and reporters get it wrong, yes, Guillen has a right to free speech, but so do the Miami Marlins have a right to fire him in expressing their free speech as well.

The concept of free speech is that the U.S. allows it and they shouldn’t be persecuted for it by the U.S. government, but a private enterprise can do what they want.

Fire the guy.  He’s known to be a loud mouth and he had time to articulate his thoughts in a sit-down interview with Time magazine.  Plus the fact that he is from Venezuela where Hugo Chavez rules with impunity and is the Fidel’s BFF.  So I can see where his “love” for Castro is emanating from.

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  1. Whoa there Tito! Don’t rush to judgment so quickly – I think we should just wait and see what Obama has to say on this before we come to any conclusion on whether or not Guillen should be fired.


  2. I was thinking let’s not be like them raving liberals . . .

    Whether the team is winning . . .

    No, wait!

    How long would Guillen last if he said he loves and respects Adolf Hitler?

  3. Fidel Castro is a hero of the American Left. About the only mainstream news media that says anything bad about him is the Miami Herald.

    Guillen is incomprehensibly stupid. South Florida has countless Latinos that fled Communist aggression – not just Cubans, but Nicaraguans who fled the Sandinistas, Venezuelans who despise Chavez, Colombians who fled the terror of the FARC and Peruvians who escaped the Sendero Luminoso.

    Guillen made no secret of his admiration for Chavez and his remarks about Castro will get him fired. You do not praise the Castros in Miami.

  4. The remarks were inappropriate and the Castro regime is contemptible, but I think we need to stop insisting that everyone who says something stupid should lose his job. The author disliked Guillen(known to be a loudmouth) before the Castro remarks,so perhaps that is coloring his judgment a bit? Regardless, as he has apologized we should allow him an opportunity to redeem himself before demanding he step down. I am not a Guillen fan. But he should have a chance to experience the justified and understandable outrage of the community a bit, and then have a chance to make amends.

  5. Chris C.,

    Nope, I’m not backing down.

    I’ve worked in management and have been blessed with great jobs working with some of the finest sports organizations in the country as well as working with some of the finest athletes anywhere.

    And when you have a $350million stadium opening up in Little Havana, you don’t want to start on the wrong foot by insulting your fan base on the most sensitive subject around.

    He should be gone. He won’t starve, he’s got millions in the bank and I’m sure there are other other major league teams that don’t have any standards that are willing to hire him.

  6. Why is it that every time a public figure says something that is considered “unpopular” or “unacceptable” that he or she is forced to apologize or otherwise condemned to wear a scarlet letter for life and forever condemned to a lifetime of explaining or defending his or her views.

    Was not America built on dissent? Can we no longer express our genuine feelings without fear of public retribution and the scourge of mediaspeak and mediathink? America, once the guardian of the freedom of speech and protector of individual liberty, has devolved into a land of busybodies and snitches who like to point the finger of reproach and blame at anyone who would utter a minority opinion.

  7. Joe,

    Like I said, Mr. Guillen can say anything he wants to say. He’s very well known for this and is a big boy.

    This is not a freedom of speech issue, but if you say so, the Miami Marlins also have the same right.

    This is a business issue.

    The Marlins baseball organization just got a new stadium built (estimates go as high as $600Million) with a new name trying to capture the Miami baseball market. Miami is home to the largest Cuban population in America.

    Logic dictates that you don’t insult your fan base in order to draw them to the ballpark. Especially if you have never before had a good attendance record, even after a World Series title.

    To have the face of the Miami Marlins, Jose Guillen, open his mouth and upset the fanbase that you are trying to woo is a poor business decision.

    Poor business decisions normally get you transferred, demoted, or fired.

    Considering that his area of expertise is managing and no other position is possible, the best business decision to make is to release him from all his duties.

    Case closed.

  8. Tito,
    I don’t see where you have standing to close this case. Looking at this as a business issue as you do, I would think that task rests with the Marlins. It would not surprise me if they come to that conclusion, but nor would it shock me if they don’t. Guillen has a long history of saying things he later regrets. Most baseball fans don’t care all that much, especially if he apologizes appropriately. Perhaps Miami fans will be less forgiving, and understandably so, but I suspect the Marlins are in the best position to make that assessment.
    Sometimes it is appropriate to fire someone on grounds other than business. I don’t think that this offense rises to that standard.

  9. Paul,


    It’s a poor business decision, but then again, hiring Guillen was a poor business decision to make in the first place, so they’re par for the course so to speak.


    We can agree to disagree.

    I could be wrong and the Marlins have blockbuster attendance, but I doubt that will happen (increased revenues), especially after the whole Castro-Fiasco.

  10. The police speech are out in force as never before, hiding under the umbrellas of “political correctness” and “business decisions.” Yes, I am aware that freedom of speech has limitations and you don’t shout fire in a crowded theater. Of course, what everyone forgets is sometimes the theater is really on fire.

  11. When last seen in public, Fidel Castro was seen warmly shaking hands with none other than the Pope. So here we have professing Catholics criticizing Guillen for “loving” Castro, as their spiritual leader no doubt does. But all “love” is not the same, is it? Oh, the irony!

  12. Joe,

    First, the state of Florida is a “Right to Work” state.

    Second, Guillen can “love” the pope until the day he dies. He won’t be suffering from attacks on his life, nor hunger, nor poverty.

    You missed the entire point of the article.

  13. Tito, I’m not sure where we disagree, unless you are saying that Ozzie’s statement was a firing offense regardless of business considerations. Or you think you are in a better position to assess the business aspects than the Marlins, which I don’t think you mean to suggest.

    If the Marlins have blockbuster attendance it would surely be huge news given recent history.

    Joe, you raise a fair point about the Pope, but I don’t see how this has anything to do with free speech, which is a right against government impairment not private action. The Marlins have their rights too, and that includes firing Ozzie if they think his statements were sufficiently offensive — even aside from business considerations.

  14. Mike, I would be interested to see a clause in Guillen’s contract that specifically includes penalties for expressing his opinion about a foreign leader.

    Secondly, Castro dumped a lot of Cuban riffraff during the Mariel boatlift including hundreds of criminals. To assert that all Cubans who now live in Miami were politically persecuted or otherwise suffered under Castro’s regime is to ignore the tyranny of his brutal predecessor, Fulgencio Batista, who used his anti-Communist secret police and U.S.-supplied weaponry to carry out wide-scale violence, torture and public executions; ultimately killing as many as 20,000 Cubans. But at least he was our SOB, wasn’t he?

  15. Joe,
    I have no brief for either Castro or Batista — they both brutally suppressed civil rights though at least Batista respected religious and property rights and had no interest in exporting his suppression. Basically, the distinction is the totalitarian (Castro) versus authoritarian (Batista) one identified by Jean Kirkpatick. Authoritarian regimes have little or no ideology — they are basically criminals who allow folks to do as they wish as long as it does not endanger their power. Totalitarian regimes are ideological and therefore seek to control the beliefs of their citizens. The distinction strikes me as a fair way to distinguish grades of evil, which is presumably why Batista was our SOB.

    I have no idea what Guillen’s contract says, but I would not assume it is dispositive in a particular way. I’m pretty sure that firing offenses are not listed with the kind of particularity you suggest though. We lawyers are not that stupid.

  16. Mike, totalitarianism is authoritarianism taken to its extreme but is no less insidious in its results. To argue whether one is worse than another is much like debating which of two lethal poisons is deadlier. It doesn’t matter. They both kill in the end.

  17. I disagree, Joe. The two differ not just by degree, but in kind. Any system that allows freedom to worship is better than one that does not. And authoritarian regimes tend to have more limited lifespans and are more likely to eventually democratize, precisely because they are rely on cult of personality to the exlusion of ideology. The fact that Batista was better than Castro is hardly a compliment to Batista, but nonetheless a fact that would have been foolish to ignore. Reagan was right to back authoritatian regimes when the alternative was worse.

  18. Not really, Joe. First, the regimes of both Hitler and Stalin were totalitarian, not authoritarian, and reasonable people can debate which regime was worse. Second, the USSR did not declare war on us; Germany did. Finally, Germany was simply the greater threat at the time. It was unsavory indeed to be Stalin’s ally, but it would have been far worse if Hitler had not chosen to make Stalin his enemy. That said, it is certainly embarrassing that neither FDR nor HST appreciated the depth of the USSR’s (and Stalin’s) evil till later than warranted.

  19. The old “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” position. Still, Mike, you argue persuasively, like any good lawyer should. Kudos to Don, too, for his usually cogent analyses.

  20. Thanks, Joe. Yes, sometimes the enemy of my enemy is my ally, even if not my friend. An alliance with a villain can be risky and problematic, but sometimes all options are risky and problematic in which case one must choose the least imperfect. In these cases it is important that (i) one not delude oneself as to the nature of his ally (something I think Roosevelt did, at least for too long) and (ii) others not jump to the conclusion that the alliance is predicated on any real affection for the ally.

  21. He just had a press conference in which he apologized profusely. I believe a second chance is in order. Consider your forgiveness an act of love. (Note that I too escaped the same regime he did.)

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