Ozzie’s back after 5 game suspension
After being absent from the Marlins due to his five game suspension, Manager Ozzie Guillen returns to his spot in the dugout tonight for their series against the Chicago Cubs. During the suspension, bench coach Joey Cora was the acting manager as the Marlins went 2-3 with out Guillen. With his return it will be back to business as usual.
Ozzie was suspended for five games because of his comments made about Fidel Castro in a Time Magazine interview. His comments caused an uproar in the Cuban/Latino area that is the home for his ball club in Little Havana. The question yet to be answered is if the community will forgive him?
According to sources from MLB.com, the money the manager lost while serving his suspension will eventually be put toward Miami’s Cuban community. Guillen and the Marlins are in the process of identifying a handful of organizations that could benefit from the financial contribution.
“I don’t expect to resolve this problem with money,” Guillen told a large media gathering on Tuesday afternoon at Marlins Park. “I expect to resolve this problem with acts.”
The Marlins leader understands it will take time to get the trust and support back from the community. He also knows that not everybody will be on board with him still being the manager. With the support from his team, management, family, and friends Ozzie will do his best to watch what he says about subjects other than baseball. Winning ballgames will be one way he will get the fans back, but being more involved with the community will be the main way he can return to form being the spokesman and model for Cuban players in Major League Baseball.
”Obviously people are still a little bit upset,” he said. ”I don’t blame them a bit, but I feel a lot of people supporting me. No matter what I do, it’s not going to be enough- there are some people out there who are going to feel the way they’re going to feel.”
All of the players, coaches, and management missed his presence, but all admit that the suspension did not effect the way they played. He is the manager and the leader of the ball club that everybody looks to. Having that piece missing for a few games may have a little impact on the team, but if this where to happen later in the season who knows what the results would be?
Marlins cathcer John Buch was asked about what the atmosphere in the club house will be like when Guillen returns “I think it will be business as usual.” “There’s a reason that he’s a Major League manager. He’s had success and he has a way of getting players to find the little extra whatever that’s in them.”
Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is also happy that the team can move forward from this issue and to have Ozzie back managing the team.
“He made a mistake and he’s paid for it,” Loria said. “I know Ozzie very well. He’s a very decent person and a very honest person. He came down here and faced the music. Now it’s time to move forward.”
There is no doubt that Ozzie feels bad about what he said and the affect it had to the community. As the season continues we will see how the community and the fans respond to Ozzie Guillen. If he starts being a part of the community and puts the team in winning situations who knows how far Little Havanna and Ozzie can go.