I need to address the Ozzie Guillen suspension and hopefully in 5 games this will be history.
First of all, how did Fidel Castro even come up in an interview?
“So Ozzie, what do you think of Stanton’s double tonight?”
“It was good, but let’s talk about the Bay of Pigs!”
Secondly, I don’t want anyone saying this is a free speech issue.
He’s not in trouble with the government.
He’s not going to jail for expressing his point of view.
He expressed his and the people protesting and boycotting are expressing theirs.
This is an issue about paying customers.
There is a big population of Miami who escaped Castro, related to those who escaped Castro or know people who are trying to escape Castro.
And a lot of those people are baseball fans.
Baseball is kind of sort of big in Cuba and with Cubans.
And the Marlins want those people who escaped Castro or know people who are trying to escape Castro to buy tickets.
The Marlins just spent a lot of money and are having good PR for the new stadium and the last thing they want is a chunk of paying customers turning their back on the team.
The team has been there since 1993 and have won as many World Series titles as the Indians in their history, the Cubs, Phillies and Mets in theirs.
And yet the Marlins haven’t been embraced by South Floridians. Now the team has a new ballpark, a new identity and are even calling themselves “Miami” now.
And the Honeymoon which was supposed to last all year didn’t even make it to Tax Day!
Is the image of the team on the news their crazy new ballpark? Nope. It is people holding up signs and protesting.
A team that has struggled for revenue and trying to get the community to embrace them shouldn’t do things that cuts revenue and gets the community to shun them.
So a smart thing to do, especially this early in the season, is to take Guillen to the woodshed for PR purposes, win back those paying fans and the Marlins will be a winning streak away from this all being ancient history.
It’s not free speech nor politics.
It is PR and box office.
It’s capitalism… something VERY un Castro like.
Finally, Ozzie, here’s some interview tips from your pal Sully.
You are a live wire and we love that about you.
Rip on former players, Cub fans, etc. It’s great!
But think twice before saying things like “You what I respect about Castro…” or “The deal with blacks is…” or “Here’s what’s good about 9/11…” or “Hitler was right when…” or “Women just shouldn’t…” etc.
Nobody is going to listen to anything after those words. And they aren’t going to expect a nuanced argument. Let’s face it. Subtlety isn’t the Ozzie Guillen style.
Expect to get some backlash.
And if that backlash affects your employer’s bottom line, you will get in trouble.
Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from responsibility.
Now sit out 5 games, say you are sorry and win some ballgames!