As we know, Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen returned on Tuesday from his five game suspension for his controversial comments on Fidel Castro. His comments, taken out of context, are a prime example of yellow journalism. However, despite this fact, a sizeable population within the Greater Miami area remains offended. While outrage may have declined since his apologetic press conference last week, his return to Marlins Park will surely rekindle the issue at hand. It remains to be seen whether many Marlins fans will forgive him going forward.
Throughout the past week, small protests occurred outside of Marlins Park calling for Ozzie’s dismissal and mass discontent with the situation was elaborated upon in local news in addition to talk radio. Just when media was fascinated and thrilled with the new ballpark, opinion rapidly turned negative upon the reveal of Ozzie’s potential love and respect for Castro. There is no doubt that Guillen’s controversial comments ignited a firestorm of criticism directed towards him and the Marlins over the course of the past week. As foolish as his comments were, Guillen frequently employs a managerial method in which he makes questionable comments so that the media focuses on him and not the players with the goal of eliminating distractions. This time, whether inadvertent or not, he took it too far. What was meant to be a relatively stable beginning to the season was marked with chaos and distraction. It had become an embarrassment for the entire Marlins organization. Despite dealing with criticism from local officials who lobbied for the construction of the new ballpark, the team stood by Guillen as manager. This indicates that the Marlins organization as a whole has a great respect and immense loyalty towards its manager, will do whatever it takes to win and deeply believes that Ozzie is capable of just that. The Marlins took minimal action with the belief that this whole situation will subside once the team starts winning ballgames.
I tend to agree with this statement. When the team overall plays well, the focus and media presence will shift towards the players and everything they are doing right. Winning is ultimately the primary method in securing positive press. Winning and success lead to the development of city and team pride which tend to unite a region. Unfortunately, in light of the most recent public relations fiasco since the anger over the approval of the new ballpark, Ozzie’s comments united the Miami area over a controversy. While many will remain outraged at Ozzie Guillen, winning will prevail in mending all wounds.