Ozzie Guillen's comments on Fidel Castro have made him the biggest story in sports just a week into his new gig as the manager of the Miami Marlins. After a highly remorseful press conference and a five-game suspension handed down by the team, Tuesday was a time for reflection throughout baseball. Naturally, the Chicago White Sox, the team Guillen managed from 2004-2011, were asked about their former manager's comments. Most of the team sidestepped the questions, but some didn't. Second baseman Gordon Beckham had this to say:
"You feel for Ozzie," said Beckham, who played three seasons for Guillen. "I think all of the guys in this clubhouse knew what he meant when he said it. It was like, this guy (Castro) has had people trying to get him, take a shot at him, and he's lasted 60 years. Sometimes Ozzie says more than he should."
"I would just say whatever his thoughts or comments are, those are Ozzie's comments," he said. "That's more on him. It's one of those (situations) that there are some people who like Castro, and there are some people who don't. You're in Miami, it's definitely a different thought frame. But that's his opinion, and it's not the same opinion I have."
"Apologizing is definitely a big first step," said Ramirez, who played for Cuba in the Athens Olympics. "Everyone has their opinion. But I also feel people should be forgiven. So if he's going to apologize, I feel that hopefully he'll be accepted."
The former Chicago White Sox manager, Ozzie Guillen, issued a public apology on Tuesday following his controversial comments lauding the Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Guillen's apology was received well by at least one of his former players as shortly after the press conference, former White Sox DH Frank Thomas shared his thoughts, noting that Guillen appeared particularly genuine in his regret:
After spending years of my life with Ozzie Guillen I can honestly say he has never been this apologetic.
Thomas played 19 years in the MLB, including 16 seasons with the Chicago White Sox. Guillen managed Thomas from 2004 through 2008, including the 2005 World Championship season which Thomas missed most of due to injury.
Former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was suspended five games on Tuesday for his controversial remarks regarding longtime Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. At a press conference today in Miami, Guillen apologized for his comments.
"I’m sorry that I have hurt a city, a country, a community, without any intention. But I did it. … I feel like I’ve betrayed my Latin community. I’m here to say I’m sorry with my heart and my hips. I want to say sorry to all those people who were hurt directly or indirectly. Especially to the Cuban-Americans in Miami."
The Miami fanbase is largely made up of Cuban-Americans and many media members believe this is the worst thing for Guillen to say given the long track record of human rights atrocities committed by Castro and his regime.
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