Five games into his tenure with the Marlins, motor-mouth manager Ozzie Guillen is returning to Miami to explain himself as a backlash builds regarding favorable comments he made about Fidel Castro.
At least two local officials said Guillen should lose his job, and the chairman of the Florida Hispanic Legislative Caucus called Monday for “punitive measures” against him.
Hoping to quell the political tumult, Guillen planned to leave his team briefly in Philadelphia and fly to Miami to apologize today at Marlins Park. The Marlins and Phillies resume their series Wednesday after a day off today.
Guillen, a Venezuelan, told Time magazine he loves Castro and respects the Cuban dictator for staying in power so long.
Before Monday’s game, Guillen said he has had sleepless nights because of his comments and wants to make amends.
“I’m going to make everything clear what’s going on,” he said. “People can see me and talk. I’ve already talked to people. But I think it’s the proper thing to see my eyes. They can see me and ask whatever question they want. I think sooner is better. Better for the ballclub, better for me.”
Fenway turning 100
Fenway Park is ready for its 100th birthday, and the Boston Red Sox are planning a big party.
After a decade of renovations to the majors’ oldest ballpark, the team has put on some finishing touches to get it ready for this season. Opening Day is Friday, and a week later the club will celebrate the anniversary of Fenway’s opening on April 20, 1912.
The festivities began on Monday, when the Harvard baseball team took batting practice to commemorate the first baseball game in the park, an exhibition between the school and the Red Sox on April 9, 1912.
Clearing the bases
Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones expects to come off the disabled list when he’s eligible today. Jones, who turns 40 later this month, opened the season on the DL following surgery March 26 to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. … New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte allowed one run and two hits over three inning for Class-A Tampa at Clearwater, Fla., in his second game action since ending a one-year retirement. Pettitte struck out two in the Florida State League game against Clearwater. He threw 26 of 32 pitches for strikes. Pettitte worked a scoreless inning in the Yankees’ spring training finale last Wednesday against the New York Mets. The left-hander agreed to a minor league contract on March 16 and could be ready to join the Yankees sometime next month.