By Ross Newhan
Inevitably, a loose cannon is going to misfire at times
With the loose cannon that is Ozzie Guillen, it is constant misfiring. Freedom of speech is one thing, failing to display growth and learning from the misfires is another.
After describing former Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti in homophobic terms while he was managing the Chicago White Sox he was ordered into sensitivity training and bragged about not attending the classes, He frequently criticized management, got bolder after leading the White Sox to a World Series title and ultimately wore out his welcome.
The Miami Marlins certainly knew what they were getting when they made his managerial hiring as much of a centerpiece to the opening of their beautiful new ballpark as the $106 million signing of Jose Reyes.The hope was that he would provide a leadership spark to an attractive lineup, but hope has again taken the form of a loose cannon with his quotes in Time magazine that he loves Fidel Castro.
Could he have said anything worse in the heart of Little Havana where the Marlins new ballpark is located and many of the team's fans live and work after escaping Castro's dictatorial regime?
Guillen, of course, has apologized and claimed that his meaning was lost in translation.
It's hard to figure out what could have been lost in translation, and so Guillen has been suspended for five games.
Fair enough, but history illustrates that Guillen can't be stifled. It was only a few weeks ago that he told South Florida reporters that all he usually does after night games is get drunk at the hotel bar.
A five game suspension?
You can be assured that Guillen will be heard from again. The man thinks he can say anything at anytime, and, as usual, it will be brainless and not very funny.
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Multiple sources familiar with the situation but prevented from discussing it publicly insist that Magic Johnson's financial contribution to the new ownership of the Dodgers was a check for $1 million, a minor percentage of the $2.15 billion purchase by Guggenheim Partners. Despite all of the whoopla surrounding Magic, who will remain a visible frontman, the on-field success of the new ownership is in the hands of longtime baseball executive Stan Kasten, who will be the president, and Mark Walter, the principal money man.
If baseball is concerned about Magic's shows of cordiality to former owner Frank McCourt--and McCourt's continued visibility--it is a disturbing reality stemming from McCourt being allowed to turn the parking lot into a separate entity and Guggenheim's willingness to accept McCourt as a partner in the possible future development of the lot.