Marlins: Guillen will keep his job despite Castro comments

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by Associated Press

WHAS11.com

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 10 at 4:58 PM

 MIAMI (AP) -- The Miami Marlins say they aren't thinking of firing manager Ozzie Guillen, or asking him to resign -- despite published comments in which he praised Cuba's Fidel Castro, comments that have brought outrage from Cuban-Americans.
   
But the baseball team is suspending him for five games.

The team's president, David Samson, says "everybody deserves a second chance" -- and that he doesn't think Guillen will be offering any political views in the future.
 
Guillen agrees, saying, "When you're a sportsman, you shouldn't be involved with politics." He says it's "the biggest mistake" of his life.

At a news conference today, Guillen apologized and said he will do whatever he can to repair relations with Cuban-Americans. The team's new stadium is in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood.

He had told Time magazine that he loves Castro and respects the retired Cuban leader for staying in power so long.

But Guillen says he doesn't, in fact, love or admire Castro. He says he was telling the reporter that he "cannot believe somebody who hurt so many people over the years is still alive."

It's not the first such controversy for Guillen, a native of Venezuela. He twice appeared on a radio show hosted by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez -- a Castro ally -- in 2005. At the time, he said that he was one of the few people who liked Chavez.

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