In the United States, where the 1st Amendment to the Constitution guarantees us certain rights, including Freedom of Speech. There are a few exceptions to that inspired document.
You can’t yell fire in a crowded theatre. You can’t incite crimes with words. Certain speech regarded as “harassment” is considered illegal. And lastly, if you’re the manager of a baseball team in South Florida, you absolutely cannot say positive things about Fidel Castro and expect there to be no repercussions.
Ozzie Guillen has proven over the years that he’s not a very bright man. He has put his foot in his mouth more than any manager I can think of. Because he is a personality and a crazy one at that, he has tended to get a pass with some of the stupid things he has said. Be it a profane tirade. A rant ripping Chicago Cubs fans. An outburst in which he called a sportswriter a derogatory term for homosexual. Guillen is no stranger to getting himself in trouble with his outbursts. He has a history of ripping his players and opponents in temper tantrums before the cameras and microphones.
This latest episode has outraged the enormous Cuban-American community in South Florida, that is calling for boycotts, just in time for the Marlins home opener. Great timing by Ozzie, who has alienated the fan base that the Marlins brass has unsuccessfully been trying to court since the team played it’s first game in 1993.
It is reported that Guillen is on his way to Miami to apologize in a press conference. He has called for an open press conference in which he can address not only journalists and the like, but the fan base as well. He may want some heavy security for this. Is it possible that he can survive this latest controversy? If he does, Ozzie has reached again into his bag of magic tricks and pulled off another one.
Guillen made the Castro comments two days after admitting to ESPN that he gets drunk after games, win or lose. He claimed that he has done so for his entire baseball career. I would think that Guillen would have faced a suspension from MLB for those statements. He survived the with nary a word of admonishment. Making levity of being a drunk are comments that should have had him fired in this writer's opinion. Frankly, the Ozzie Guillen act has gotten old and he needs to go.
Guillen's quote: "I go to the hotel bar, get drunk, sleep. I don't do anything else. I get drunk because I'm happy we win or I get drunk because I'm very sad and disturbed because we lose. Same routine, it never changes. It's been the same routine for 25, 28 years..."
I'm certainly no expert, but that sounds like alcoholism to me. I would just suggest that Guillen learn to shut up, but history has shown that is a impossibility. Perhaps someone in the Marlins front office should step forward and try to get him some help. A program might be in order.
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