A contrite Ozzie Guillen sat in the heart of Little Havana seeking forgiveness for what the Miami Marlins manager called the biggest mistake of his life – saying he admired Fidel Castro.
This wasn’t some offhanded insult about a sports writer, the type of thing that got the outspoken Guillen in trouble in Chicago.
This was personal to the fan base that the Marlins rely on so much that they built their new stadium in the middle of the city’s Cuban-American neighborhood.
Castro is the sworn enemy of those fans.
So after being suspended for five games Tuesday, the Marlins manager tried to quell the tempest.
“I’m here on my knees to apologize,” Guillen said.
“I’m very sorry about the problem, what happened. I will do everything in my power to make it better. … When you make a mistake like this, you can’t sleep.”
A chastened Guillen, who has a history of polarizing comments about gays and immigrants, among others, spoke without a script and made no disclaimers.
He said he’ll do whatever he can to repair relations with Cuban-Americans angered by his praise of the Cuban dictator, remarks he said he didn’t mean.
Clearing the bases
All-Star second baseman Brandon Phillips agreed Tuesday to a $72.5 million, six-year contract with the Cincinnati Reds … Cleveland catcher Carlos Santana signed a five-year $21 million contract with the Indians, who locked up one of their core players through the 2016 season. Santana hit 27 homers last season … Fox is objecting to the proposed sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers, saying the incoming ownership group that includes Magic Johnson has not disclosed whether Time Warner Cable is involved in the purchase. It asked for written assurance that Time Warner wasn’t contributing funds being used for Guggenheim Baseball Management’s purchase of the team from Frank McCourt and the incoming owners don’t have any formal or informal agreements for the team’s broadcast rights starting in 2014 … John Moores is putting the San Diego Padres up for sale. The team’s owner said he has retained a pair of investment bankers to seek a new owner for the franchise.
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