Ben McGrath: Ozzie Being Ozzie, Marlins Being Marlins

Last month, Ben McGrath spent a lot of time with the Marlins and wrote this piece for The New Yorker. Which gives him a unique perspective on Ozzie Guillen's latest adventures. McGrath, today:

Some political context, if you could call it that: Guillen is Venezuelan, and has said nice things in the past about Hugo Chávez, even calling him a "friend." And yet he also called Sean Penn a "loser" and a "clown" for Penn’s own support of Chávez. During spring training, when I spoke to Guillen for The New Yorker, he insisted that his only rule was that players be on time for the singing of the national anthem—"especially if you come from another goddamn country," he said. "Lot of people been killed trying to make this country free for us."

--snip--

Tuesday morning, while the Marlins were in Philadelphia, Guillen returned to Little Havana and held an emergency press conference to try to save his job. "They hired me to manage the ballclub, not to talk about politics," Guillen said, in Spanish, and yet talk about politics he did, for much of the next forty-five minutes, in an attempt to convince Miami’s Cuban population not to boycott the Marlins. "I prefer to die before voting for Hugo Chávez," he now said. "I will never vote for Hugo Chávez." And: "Everybody in the world hates Fidel Castro, including myself." Miami, you are now free to go back to being baffled by the Marlins.

Jeffrey Loria wanted a circus, and he's got a circus. Maybe he really had to suspend Ozzie Guillen. But it would seem impolite for Loria to actually complain about any of it.

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