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Ozzie Guillen in hot water over Fidel Castro talk

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

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(AP)

There aren't a lot of rules on what you can and cannot do down in Miami, which is why the Marlins have seemed like such a perfect landing spot for Ozzie Guillen.

Yet if there's a line to cross, Guillen will somehow find it. He's now drawing criticism just one week into his first regular season with the Marlins after expressing a respect for former Cuban leader Fidel Castro during an interview with Time's Sean Gregory.

"I respect Fidel Castro," Guillen said in the article. "You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that [expletive] is still here."

Of course, if there's one thing you don't say in Miami, it's "I love Fidel Castro" — which are the first four words from Guillen in Gregory's article. Miami is full of Cubans who once suffered under the reign of the dictator and won't take any praise aimed toward Castro, which is probably why the Marlins quickly distanced themselves from Guillen's comments.

[Related: Oakland Athletics' Yoenis Cespedes knows he broke an unwritten rule of baseball]

It's also probably why Guillen is doing something he almost never does: Apologize for something he said. "Whoever got hurt or misunderstood, I want to apologize for the things that hurt somebody's feelings," Guillen said via MLB.com.

From the Associated Press:

Guillen called the (Marlins') beat writers for a closed-door meeting before a game against the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday night and apologized.

"I will apologize if I hurt somebody's feelings, or I hurt somebody's thought," Guillen told the writers. "I want them to know I'm against everything 100 percent—I repeat it again—the way this man (been) treating people for the last 60 years."

In response to the magazine story, the Marlins released a statement saying, "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."

Guillen has previously drawn criticism for his comments about Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and there's no question that Cubans will blast him for these remarks. And while he's a guy who prides himself on not having any filter, he should have applied this one the minute he learned that Marlins Park is located in Miami's Little Havana.

Make sure you're ready for the season ahead ...
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