Marlins suspend Ozzie five games

The Marlins on Tuesday morning announced they are suspending manager Ozzie Guillen for five games, effective immediately.

In a statement sent to the media, the Marlins said: “The Miami Marlins announced today the suspension of manager Ozzie Guillen for five games effective immediately. The Marlins acknowledge the seriousness of the comments attributed to Guillen. The pain and suffering caused by Fidel Castro cannot be minimized especially in a community filled with victims of the dictatorship.”

Bench coach Joey Cora will manage the club in the interim. The Marlins are off on Tuesday, and will resume their three-game series at Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Guillen returned to Miami after Monday’s game at Philadelphia, and he addressed a large media gathering at Marlins Park on Tuesday morning. About 30 protesters were outside the stadium.

Guillen addressed the media, first in Spanish and then in English.

In English, he said about the suspension: “I can’t control that. The way I feel right now, I cannot say it’s unfair or fair. They make that decision. To me, it’s a very sad situation because I’m leaving the ballclub and they’re playing pretty good right now. … But that decision is made. They made that decision. I will take it, whatever they want me to do. I cannot complain about anything because right now I’m not in a position to complain or disagree with what they think about me.”

Guillen will not be paid for the five games. But he said he isn’t worried about the money, he is committed to repairing his image within the Cuban community.

“It’s not going to happen today. It’s what’s going to happen in the future,” Guillen said of mending his relationship with South Florida. “I expect to be here for a long time. I live in Miami. My family is in Miami, and I will do everything, and I’m willing to do everything to try to make things better. I will help the Cuban community and the Latino community, like I always do. I hope I get better and people understand my situation. I’m willing to do everything in my power and the Marlins power to help this community like I always do.”

Guillen added that he let the Marlins organization and the ballclub down by his comments to Time magazine regarding Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

“It was misinterpreted. What I mean in Spanish, when he asked me in Spanish, I was thinking in Spanish,” Guillen said. “The thing I say, ‘I cannot believe somebody who hurt so many people over the years is still alive.”

Guillen noted that he was hired to manage the Marlins, not talk about politics.

During the suspension, he expects the club to perform on the field.

“I will apologize to the ballclub,” the manager said. “I expect my coaching staff to do what they have to do without me. I’m very disappointed and very sad. I let those guys down. I let the ballclub down.”

Joe Frisaro

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