Marlins’ Ozzie Guillen apologizes over Castro flap

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Time said Tuesday it stands by its story.

Guillen said the uproar he created has left him sad, embarrassed and feeling stupid. He said he accepted the team’s punishment.

“When you’re a sportsman, you shouldn’t be involved with politics,” he said.

“I’m going to be a Miami guy for the rest of my life. I want to walk in the street with my head up and feel not this bad, the way I feel now.”

Cuban-born Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, a former manager of the Marlins, said he watched some of the news conference and could tell it was difficult for Guillen.

“He came out and faced the music,” Gonzalez said. “It’s going to take awhile, but hopefully he can win those people back somehow.”

Guillen has gotten in trouble before on issues ranging from sexual orientation to illegal immigration. Just last week, he boasted about getting drunk after games.

Those episodes quickly faded. But on South Florida’s scale of political incorrectness, praise for Castro is a home run, and it was unclear how long it would take for anger toward Guillen to subside.

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said the remarks “have no place in our game” and were “offensive to an important part of the Miami community and others throughout the world.”

“As I have often said, baseball is a social institution with important social responsibilities,” Selig added in a statement. “All of our 30 clubs play significant roles within their local communities, and I expect those who represent Major League Baseball to act with the kind of respect and sensitivity that the game’s many cultures deserve.”

Marlins officials said Guillen still had the support of the organization.

“We believe in him,” said Samson, the team president. “We believe in his apology. We believe everybody deserves a second chance.” He said he expected no further punishment from MLB.

Guillen apologized over the weekend after his remarks were published in Time, then left his team in Philadelphia, where the Marlins were playing the Phillies, and flew to Miami.

The teams resume their three-game series Wednesday in Philadelphia. Guillen said he’ll be there to apologize to his players, but he won’t be in the dugout. Bench coach Joey Cora will be the interim manager.

“The Marlins acknowledge the seriousness of the comments attributed to Guillen,” read a statement from the team. “The pain and suffering caused by Fidel Castro cannot be minimized, especially in a community filled with victims of the dictatorship.”

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