The suspension, which takes effect immediately, recalled the punishment given to Marge Schott, the late owner of the Cincinnati Reds. Schott so embarrassed baseball in the 1990s with her inflammatory racial remarks and fond recollections of Adolf Hitler that she was suspended from ownership duties for a season.
“After spending years of my life with Ozzie Guillen, I can honestly say he has never been this apologetic,” tweeted former slugger Frank Thomas, who played for Guillen with the Chicago White Sox. “I know he is really hurting inside for what he said. If you really know him this was not his intentions at all.”
In Cuba, the evening newscast aired an interview by Venezuela-based Telesur with Emilio Garcia, a Cuban journalist in Miami.
“It is another sad page in the history of this community (Miami) that more and more is transforming into a banana republic,” Garcia said. “It was pathetic this morning to see this sportsman humiliate himself, humiliate himself to the core to try to keep his job.”
“How does the much-ballyhooed ‘yankee’ freedom of expression look now,” Cuban anchor Julita Osendi said in summary before moving on to the next item.
About 100 reporters, photographers and cameramen attended Guillen’s news conference, a turnout to rival some late-season Marlins crowds in years gone by.
Guillen sat alone at the podium and began in Spanish, speaking without notes for several minutes before taking questions. Shortly after he started, his voice wavered mid-sentence. He paused to take a sip of water and clear his throat.
“This is the biggest mistake I’ve made so far in my life,” Guillen said.
Guillen spoke in Spanish for about 80 percent of the news conference. Guillen said he was suspended without pay, but Samson later said the manager will be paid and will donate the money to Miami human-rights causes.
Associated Press writers Janie McCauley in San Francisco, Peter Orsi in Havana, Kristie Rieken in Houston and Gisela Salomon in Miami contributed to this report.
(This version CORRECTS attribution in fifth paragraph from end to Emilio Garcia instead of Edmundo Garcia)