Ozzie Guillen Apologizes for Remarks that He Loves Fidel Castro

Ozzie Guillen Apologizes for Remarks that He Loves Fidel Castro

The 2012 major league baseball season isn't even a week old, and yet we already have our first Ozzie Guillen incident.
Yes, Guillen has a history of speaking his mind on issues of both baseball and politics, but it was hard to imagine he'd find a way to antagonize so many members of his own fan base so quickly. Then again, it's Ozzie.
From the Chicago Sun Times:

Two days after saying he gets drunk every night the team’s on the road, Guillen apologized for comments he made in a Time magazine story, in which he’s quoted as saying, “I love Fidel Castro.”

Later in the article, Guillen said, “I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that (SOB) is still here.”

Ozzie is now, of course, the manager of the Miami Marlins, who are, of course, located in a market with a large Cuban demographic, many of whom, of course, despise Castro, which was in many cases, of course, the reason they fled Cuba in the first place. It should also be noted that Guillen has lived in Miami for the last 12 years.
Anyway, he apologized to the team's spanish broadcasting crew over the weekend and held a closed door session with the Marlins beat writers to do the same.

“I want to apologize for the things (I said) that hurt somebody’s feelings,” Guillen told reporters. “I want them to know I’m against everything ... the way (Castro has) treated people the last 60 years. I’ve read a lot about him.

The Phillies host the Marlins this week, including in their home-opener today at 1:05, but Guillen will fly back to Miami during the series' off-day on Tuesday to hold a public press conference to address the remarks. Meanwhile, NBCMiami is reporting that a "hard-line, right wing, anti-Castro, anti-communist group," of Cuban-Americans will demonstrate outside the stadium, presumably during the presser.
But that's tomorrow. Today, he's on the road in Philadelphia, so, if we're taking his word for it, he's probably drunk anyway.

Sixers-Thunder 10 observations: Joel Embiid electrifies in debut

Sixers-Thunder 10 observations: Joel Embiid electrifies in debut

Joel Embiid and Dario Saric playing in a regular-season game for the Sixers? Check.

Russell Westbrook being, well, Russell Westbrook? Check.

An overzealous fan giving Westbrook a crude salute and getting tossed from the arena? Yeah, check that one off too.

The Sixers' tight 103-97 loss to the Thunder in Wednesday night's season opener at the Wells Fargo Center had a little bit of everything (see Instant Replay).

Let's take a closer look at the action with 10 observations.

1. Embiid is already a rock star among Sixers fans thanks to his personality and social media antics, but if his game ever matches his fame, look out. When he caught the ball at the free throw line during the first quarter and did a mini "Dream Shake" to bury a jumper for his first NBA points and then followed it up on the other end with a massive swat of a Westbrook layup attempt, he gave the crowd an in impressive glimpse of his vast potential. He was even showered with “Trust the Process” chants when he stepped to the free throw line during the second half. Embiid finished the game with 20 points on 6 of 16 shooting and seven rebounds along with two blocks.

2. That's not to say the big fella was without his faults. After spending two years on the sidelines, Embiid was understandably amped up and tried to do too much at times on both offense (held the ball too much, four turnovers) and defense (over-helping on rotations, which left the paint open). Like anything involving Embiid, it's a process.

3. Note to fans: Westbrook is already a supremely focused and competitive player. He doesn't need any help to get going. However, one Sixers fan took it upon himself to rev up the Thunder's All-Star point guard with a special salute in the first quarter before being promptly ejected (see story). No wonder Westbrook scored 12 of his game-high 32 points in the first quarter and finished just one assist shy of a triple-double.

4. Saric didn’t have a great shooting night (2 of 12 from the field for five points), but he still looked relatively solid in the victory. The Croatian showcased the versatility that had the Sixers salivating over him for the past two years, including a number of pump/head fakes to get defenders off balance before he missed the ensuing shot. He was overmatched inside when OKC went to its super-sized lineup with mustache afficionados Steven Adams and Enes Kanter (combined 33 points and 17 rebounds) down low. But that’s more on Brett Brown leaving the rookie out to dry than Saric’s ability.

5. Speaking of Brown, I’m not sure if the Sixers will ever value possessions like they should under a head coach with his Spurs pedigree. However, just 14 for a squad that has finished 30th, 30th and 29th in that category during Brown's first three years at the helm is definitely a step in the right direction.

6. Surgery for a meniscus tear didn’t do anything to hamper Jahlil Okafor’s post moves. The second-year big man looked spry after playing in just one preseason game before the opener. His shot was a tad rusty (4 of 10), but Okafor managed eight points in 16 minutes.

7. I’ve been critical of the Sixers’ defense over the years mainly because … it was non-existent. That wasn’t the case Wednesday until the fourth quarter. They were outscored, 34-22, in the final period. For the most part, the Sixers closed out to shooters and rotated with purpose on the defensive end of the floor. They held the Thunder to 41.5 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from three-point range. Not bad when the “crown jewel” of the D in Embiid was limited to 22 minutes.

8. Jerryd Bayless might want to hurry back from that wrist injury. Sergio Rodriguez had the ball on a string all night long for the Sixers. The point guard had 12 points to go along with nine assists, zero turnovers and countless dribble moves that left Thunder defenders grasping at air. Not bad for a guy who hasn’t played an NBA game since 2010.

9. Sauce Castillo lives! OK, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but Nik Stauskas was excellent. He was decisive with his movements and got himself going by driving to the rim. The guard posted 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting off the bench. Perhaps coming into a season without the pressure of having to live up to being the No. 8 pick in the 2014 draft and playing with close friend T.J. McConnell are what the third-year player needed.

10. Wednesday’s game was a thriller down to the end, but you can’t help but feel that some of the extra juice that would have been in the building for No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons was missing. Instead of suiting up, Simmons held a press conference to discuss his health after foot surgery (see story).