Ozzie Guillen, new manager for the newly-named Miami Marlins, has said quite a bit throughout his managerial career. This time, however, he may have gone too far.
The Mariins announced today that they will suspend Guillen for his pro-Fidel Castro comments made in an interview with Time magazine last week.
"The Marlins acknowledge the seriousness of the comments attributed to Guillen," the team said in a prepared statement announcing the move. "The pain and suffering caused by Fidel Castro cannot be minimized, especially in a community filled with victims of the dictatorship."
Guillen mentioned in the interview with Time that he loves Castro and respects him for staying in power for so long.
Guillen held a press conference earlier today in Miami in which he apologized. He learned about his five-game suspension just 20 minutes before the conference took place at the new Marlins Park in Little Havana.
"I feel like I betrayed my Latin community," Guillen said, according to ESPN's translation of his comments in Spanish. "I am here to say I am sorry with my heart in my hands and I want to say I'm sorry to all those people who are hurt indirectly or directly."
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig mentioned that he supported the Marlins' decision to suspend Guillen as well.
"Guillen's remarks, which were offensive to an important part of the Miami community and others throughout the world, have no place in our game."
"The interpretation didn't come out as I wanted," Guillen said in Spanish, according to ESPN's translation. "I was thinking in Spanish and I said the wrong thing in English," Guillen explained on Tuesday.
The Marlins and team president David Samson claim that they have no intention of firing the former Chicago White Sox manager, nor asking him to resign, despite how delicate the issue is amongst the Latin community in Miami.
This isn't the first time Guillen has expressed admiration for Cuba's dictator. In a 2008 interview with Men's Journal, he described Fiedel Castro as the toughest man he knows.
"We believe in him," Samson said. "We believe in his apology. We believe everybody deserves a second chance."
Guillen is eligible to return to the Marlins dugout on April 17, when Miami hosts the Chicago Cubs.