Everyone can agree that Ozzie Guillen is an idiot when it comes to running his mouth. The man says things without thinking, and there's been countless examples of this. He's also one of only two managers of Latin American descent in baseball (the other being Fredi Gonzalez of the Braves). So he's high profile to say the least.
Guillen loves a microphone much
more than a microphone loves him.
To put things in further perspective, the now Miami Marlins hired Guillen because of his outrageous personality and ties to the Hispanic community, knowing full well that if you stick a bank of microphones in front of Ozzie, you're going to get news coverage. What better way to shine a spotlight on a small market franchise than to have Guillen as your spokesperson? They know this, we know this, the media knows this.
So to be surprised or even upset that something Guillen said could blow up into a publicity nightmare is pretty ludicrous in the first place, but the fact there is so much importance placed on a baseball manager saying something political -- about a world where he matters not and has no importance -- is giving such comments way too much credence, thus pointing out again where America has gone so very wrong. Sure, his statements are of a highly sensitive nature to the Cuban community and it's just plain insensitive and ignorant to say anything praising the longevity of a despotic leader like Fidel Castro.
But he's frickin' Ozzie Guillen people!
He's Venezuelan! His importance in the realm of Cuban/American relations means nothing. Zero. Nada. Again, one has to ask why Cuban Americans would place their focus (as seems to be what all Americans do nowadays) and hopes and aspirations onto the shoulders of a miscreant baseball manager? What he said is stupid, but who the heck cares! He manages a baseball team, and he's known to say stupid things all the time.
This isn't a governor, or a non-profit leader, or a community guru who spends his time assisting or affecting the Cuban community. He manages the Marlins, and while I'm sure he's involved with the community down there, the fact he's given so much credence and respect because he could hit a baseball, and then ascended into managerial territory shows how misplaced our priorities continue to be in this country.
Not to mention that we haven't even addressed the hypocritical policies of the U.S. government and Cubans themselves in Miami, as laid out very nicely by Charles Pierce in this article.
The gist of it is if it undermined Fidel Castro, legal or not, the U.S. government and the Cubans went along with it. They have a history of drug dealings and breaking tons of laws, while the U.S. government turned the other cheek, as long as they were assisting in trying to break Castro's hold on Cuba.
Lastly, where was this outrage when he made a homophobic slur 2006? Sure, he was fined, but there wasn't nearly the kind of outrage this has created, and that was directly bigoted. No if, ands or buts about it, and Guillen still hasn't apologized for it. So how is it worse for Cubans than it was for gays?
My take is, yeah, Guillen said something stupid and offensive. Yeah, he's got a high profile, but mainly because he says things that are stupid and offensive. This just continues the pattern. And you know what Cuban community? Let it go. Place your interests in someone who is actually Cuban that will represent you better than a slightly bigoted man who constantly sticks his foot in his mouth.
The only person Ozzie Guillen really represents is himself. And if the Marlins end up with a black eye from it, no one can say they didn't know what they were getting into.