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MLB roundup: Guillen suspended 5 games for Castro comment

The SportsXchange

Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen has been suspended for five games by the Marlins, for making favorable comments about Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

Guillen held a news conference Tuesday morning to explain his explosive comments about Castro, and attempt to quell massive outrage in a large Cuban community where the team has built a new stadium.

Guillen opened his conference by speaking Spanish.

"I'm sorry that I hurt a city, and a community," he said in comments translated by ESPN.com. "I did so without any intention. I feel like I betrayed my Latin community. I'm here to say I'm sorry with my heart in my hands. And I want to say I'm sorry to all the people I hurt directly or indirectly."

Sounding contrite, Guillen apologized to all Latin Americans for the comments, which were published on Time magazine's website last week. The Venezuelan manager said in a New York Times article that he "loves" Castro and respects him for staying in power for more than 50 years.

Amid protests and calls for him to be fired, Guillen flew back to Miami from Philadelphia on the team's off-day so he could explain his comment.

"I lived in Miami for a long time," Guillen said. "I'm embarrassed. The last few days have been very difficult for me and my family. I would like to apologize again. I'm sorry for what I said and for putting people in a position they don't need to be in. To all the Cuban families, I'm sorry. I hope that when I get out of here, people will understand who Ozzie Guillen is, how I feel about them and how I feel about Fidel Castro. I'm here on my knees apologizing to all the people in Latin American communities."

Responding to a question about whether he "respected" Castro for staying in power, Guillen said that he was trying to say, "I cannot believe somebody hurt so many people over the years is still alive."

---Carlos Santana parlayed a breakout first full season in the major leagues into a five-year, $21-million deal with the Cleveland Indians.

The catcher signed the multimillion contract Tuesday, keeping him with the team through the 2016 season. The deal includes a club option for 2017.

Assuming the Indians pick up that option, Santana would forgo one year of potential free agency.

Santana, 26, was one of only four major leaguers to have at least 25 homers, 35 doubles and 90 walks. He also set the club record for homers by a switch-hitter, with 27.

---The Rangers and second baseman Ian Kinsler have agreed to a five-year contract extension that will keep him in Texas through at least 2017, two sources told the Dallas Morning News.

According to the sources, the deal is worth $75 million in guaranteed money and also includes an option for a sixth year. The contract breaks down to $14 million per season with a $5 million buyout if the 2018 option is not picked up.

The deal will supplant the option year of his current contract, which called for him to make $10 million in 2013. Instead, the new contract will go into effect at the start of the 2013 season.

---Brandon Phillips agreed to a six-year, $72.5 million contract with the Reds on Tuesday, sources told ESPN's Jim Bowden. The signing comes nearly a week after the team locked up first baseman Joey Votto.

The 30-year-old Phillips batted a career-best .300 with 18 homers and 82 RBIs last season.

---Legendary Dodgers announcer Vin Scully won't call Tuesday's home opener because of a cold.

The team said Scully was suffering from a severe cold, and would miss the game because of doctor's orders.

The 84-year-old Scully was inducted into the broadcasting wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. He announced last month that he would reduce his regular-season travel, visiting only cities within California and Phoenix.

Scully missed a Dodgers home opener only one other time during his 63 years announcing for the team, in 1977, when he was called the first round of the Masters golf tournament for network television.

---Former major leaguer Vladimir Guerrero has surrendered to police after he allegedly attacked a police officer in a disco, the player told several media outlets.

Guerrero was in police custody in the Dominican Republic and was being charged with physical and verbal assault to an authority, according to multiple reports.

Guerrero denied being part of an attack.

The incident occurred in Nizao, about 40 miles from Santo Domingo.

A police spokesman in the Dominican Republic accused Guerrero of physically attacking a police officer after a fight occurred in the disco. He was asked to turn himself in.

Guerrero is a free agent after playing last season with the Baltimore Orioles.

---Oakland Athletics right-hander Joey Devine will have a second surgery on his right pitching elbow Tuesday, a further setback for the reliever already on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis.

Devine, 28, will have the surgery performed by Dr. James Andrews, who examined him on Monday. Devine had "Tommy John" surgery in April 2009 and experienced further problems, and was shut down indefinitely by the team.

--- Atlanta Braves veteran Chipper Jones has been activated from the 15-day disabled list two weeks after having surgery for a torn meniscus in his left knee, and he was scheduled to start Tuesday's game against the Houston Astros.

Jones, who has surgery March 26, was able show enough in a workout on Monday to convince Braves officials to remove him from the disabled list. This will make him available for the team's home opener on Friday.

Jones had only 25 at-bats during Spring Training, and except for a short batting practice session on Friday and again Monday, he has not faced live pitching since March 20.

---After one start with triple-A Toledo, left-hander Adam Wilk is getting the call from the Detroit Tigers and will make his first major-league start Saturday against the White Sox in Chicago.

Wilk's early call-up was necessitated by Doug Fister's left rib-cage strain. Fister was placed on the 15-day disabled list.
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