The 1.2 million Cuban Americans who live in Marlins' territory have long ago become comfortable with the idea that their tiny constituency in effect controls US foreign policy 90 miles from our shores. The Marlins simply released a statement of their own in response to Guillen's comments in the magazine: "There is nothing to respect about Fidel Castro.
"He is a brutal dictator who has caused unthinkable pain for more than 50 years. We live in a community filled with victims of this dictatorship, and the people in Cuba continue to suffer today."
But I hope that players and managers -- Ozzie most of all -- understand that baseball is a business. If the athletes intend to speak out on public policy issues, I would hope that they would think carefully about what they want to communicate, be kind and diplomatic, and temper their rants with a healthy dose of respect for the Cuban Americans who are Ozzie's ultimate employers. Those of us who love baseball want to see Ozzie managing the Marlins.
Maybe today's Miami Herald had it just about right. It said this morning, "Ozzie Guillen made a mistake -- about as big a mistake as you can make in Miami. Now it is time for Miami to be bigger than that mistake. It is time to accept his apology as sincere and move on."