Ex-Met, Fellow Venezuelan Alfonzo ‘Surprised’ By Castro Comments; Guillen Suspended
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NEW YORK (WFAN) — Ozzie Guillen’s job as Marlins manager is in serious jeopardy after his remarks on Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
The outspoken Guillen recently told Time magazine, “I love Fidel Castro … I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that (expletive) is still there.”
Beloved former Mets infielder Edgardo Alfonzo said Tuesday he was “surprised” by the comments from his fellow Venezuelan.
“I respect everybody’s opinions and ideas and stuff,” Alfonzo told WFAN’s Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts. “But, I mean, you really have a job to do. You have to focus on … baseball.”
An uproar was sparked in Miami, whose home team just opened up its brand-new ballpark in a neighborhood dubbed Little Havana. Guillen apologized in a much-anticipated press conference Tuesday.
“I know Cuba and Venezuela, they have very much in common,” said Alfonzo. “I know (Hugo) Chavez, president of Venezuela, doesn’t matter if he’s good or bad, you have to respect the guy because he’s our president. Same thing with the Cuban people. But to make comments like that? (You’re not) supposed to. Especially in Miami.”
Alfonzo talks Guillen controversy with Joe & Evan
Guillen, visibly shaken, met the media and Latino community at Marlins Park “on bended knees.”
“I’m sorry that I hurt the community without any intention,” said Guillen, who insisted his thoughts on Castro were distorted in the translation from Spanish to English. “I’m here to say I’m sorry.”
“I’m not saying the journalist was wrong,” said Guillen. “I was wrong. I was thinking in Spanish and I said it wrong in English.”
The Marlins suspended Guillen for five games amid the flap, as at least two local officials have called for his ouster.
“The Marlins acknowledge the seriousness of the comments attributed to Guillen,” the team said in a statement Tuesday. “The pain and suffering caused by Fidel Castro cannot be minimized especially in a community filled with victims of the dictatorship.”
The bottom line for Alfonzo: it wasn’t Guillen’s place to comment on Castro.
“I don’t think it as being positive to try to call attention to (it) in that way,” he said.
Do you think the penalty was stiff enough? Sound off in the comments below…