By now we all know the details and the punishment received by Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen for his recent remarks in a “Time” magazine article conveying his feelings for communist dictator Fidel Castro. We all know that the city of Miami is heavily populated with former residents of Cuba and all the political turmoil they and their families have and are still enduring to this day and how Ozzie’s comments just twist the knife that they already have sticking out of their collective thighs. I’m not going to go into that any further, there are way too many emotions involved right now.
Also, if you have not done so already, please take a look at fellow “Marlin Maniac” writer Geoff Parkins post titled, “Context and Perspective of the Ozzie Guillen Drama” it is an excellent read, shows how today’s main stream media would rather be first than right, and is a perfect example of why people in general should make sure they have ALL of the facts before they pass judgement on anything.
What I would like to talk about is some other highly publicized MLB-related controversies that should be added to the list of examples that you should follow if your ultimate goal is to alienate your fan-base.
During the off-season in 2000, Atlanta Braves relief pitcher John Rocker was interviewed for an article that appeared in a January 2000 edition of “Sports Illustrated.” In the article Rocker made several allegations that had stemmed from his experiences in New York City. When asked about his feelings about the New York Mets and their fans, John had the following comment:
Nowhere else in the country do people spit at you, throw bottles at you, throw quarters at you, throw batteries at you and say, ‘Hey, I did your mother last night — she’s a whore.’ I talked about what degenerates they were and they proved me right.
Now I do not know about you, but I just do not see how anyone could have found what John had to say offensive in any way (sarcasm). In his defense, Rocker was born in Statesboro, Georgia. I consider Statesboro to be the Land that Time Forgot – it pretty much exists in a vacuum. I should know, I went to college at Georgia Southern University, which is located in Statesboro. GSU is an absolutely fantastic school in a town that left a lot to be desired. In fact I remember one of the locals getting all excited when he saw that I was wearing a fitted Marlins baseball cap – he thought that because the hat was fitted, it must mean that I was an actual player. You see John was not used to seeing people freely express themselves, he was used to lots of trees, pickup trucks, and guns to shoot things with. You cannot fault him for being an ignorant redneck right? Well yes, actually we can John.
Rocker received so much taunting at the hands of opposing teams’ fans, particularly Mets fans, that his pitching performance declined forcing the Braves to trade him to the Cleveland Indians, who then later traded him to the Texas Rangers, who then later traded him to the then Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who gave him his outright release in 2003.
Though the show’s creators and HBO will deny it to this day it is widely believed that the the HBO show, “Eastbound & Down” is loosely based on the career of John Rocker.
This woman was a real piece of work. Marge was the president and CEO of the Cincinnati Reds from 1984 – 1999. Her reign as Reds dictator included some of the most memorable slurs any African-American, Jew, Japanese, or homosexual has ever had to endure publicly. She also has the distinction of being extremely fond of Nazi leader Adolph Hitler. This story sounds all-too familiar for Marlins fans: a leader of a baseball team that admires an evil dictator. Yes, it has happened before and the punishment was brutal. She is also guilty of letting her dog defecate on the baseball field. This folks, is a crime punishable by death in my honest opinion.
I will not go into all of the examples of how Schott was the devil incarnate as I know you guys have Google and the length of this post is reaching epic proportions but I will highlight her most famous fiasco. On May 5, 1996 Schott gave her most famous comments about her love of Adolph Hitler as follows:
“He (Hitler) was good in the beginning, but went too far.”
Major League Baseball had enough with Schott after the Hitler comment and banned her from day-to-day operation of the team for two years. This was her second time she was put on MLB’s, “get off my lawn” list. In 1999 Schott, facing yet another suspension from baseball, sold her controlling interest in the Reds and later died of health problems in 2001. Little people singing, “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” should now be running through your heads for the rest of the day. You’re welcome.
Using these as examples it will be a hard up-hill battle for Ozzie going forward but maybe, just maybe, the Cuban-American population of Miami will forgive him but only time will tell.
I hope you enjoyed my little trip down memory lane.