Protestors (from left) Osvaldo Hernandez, Dulce Martinez, Feliz Cifuentez and Olga Gomez gesture outside Marlins Stadium in Miami, as Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen spoke at a news conference inside the stadium on Tuesday. Guillen was suspended for five games Tuesday because of his comments about Fidel Castro.
PHILADELPHIA — Suspended Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen spoke to his players before the clubhouse opened to reporters on Wednesday.
Guillen arrived at the clubhouse entrance just before 4 p.m., and entered along with Michael Hill, Miami’s general manager. He was expected to apologize to the team for saying he admired Fidel Castro, a comment that led to his five-game suspension that will start when Miami plays the Phillies in the second game of a three-game series.
Guillen’s praise of the Cuban dictator in an interview with Time magazine outraged the Cuban-American community in Miami and led some politicians to call for his dismissal.
Guillen apologized over the weekend after his remarks were published, and called it the biggest mistake of his life at a news conference in Miami on Tuesday. He returned to Philadelphia afterward, but was not to be in the dugout Wednesday night.
The team didn’t consider firing Guillen or ask him to resign five games into his tenure, Marlins president David Samson said on Tuesday. The Marlins, who opened a new ballpark last week and added several marquee free agents over the winter, are off to a 2-3 start.
On Tuesday, Guillen said he doesn’t love or admire Castro.
“I was saying I cannot believe somebody who hurt so many people over the years is still alive,” he said.
Time said Tuesday it stands by its story.
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said the remarks “have no place in our game” and were “offensive to an important part of the Miami community and others throughout the world.”
“As I have often said, baseball is a social institution with important social responsibilities,” Selig added in a statement on Tuesday. “All of our 30 clubs play significant roles within their local communities, and I expect those who represent Major League Baseball to act with the kind of respect and sensitivity that the game’s many cultures deserve.”
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