The Miami Marlins made a splash over the offseason by breaking the bank to reel in key free agents like Heath Bell and Jose Reyes, both signings that left many baseball insiders ranking the team as a favorite to notch the NL East title.
However, the Marlins have been sitting in last place in the division for months, which has led to rumors that first-year manager Ozzie Guillen may be fired at the end of the season.
Guillen got off on the wrong foot in South Florida with comments in support of Fidel Castro, and he has been unsuccessful in cleaning up his tarnished image ever since. Of course, Guillen is no stranger to controversy.
Here's a look back at the top 10 most controversial moments in Guillen's career as a manager:Fidel Castro remarks - Guillen found himself on the hot seat in April when he was quoted in a Time magazine article as saying, "I love Fidel Castro." This was controversial because he manages in an area that is home to over a million Cuban-Americans. In Cuba, Castro is a widely hated figure for his ruthless treatment of his own countrymen.
Showing sympathy for Yunel Escobar for use of a gay slur - After Yunel Escobar was caught wearing a homophobic slur on his eye black, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet quoted Guillen as saying, "In my house we call that word every 20 seconds."
Using gay slur to describe Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti - Guillen used a gay slur to describe Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti while he was still manager with the Chicago White Sox. "Ozzie Guillen used language that is offensive and completely unacceptable," Bud Selig said in a statement on MLB.com after the incident. "Baseball is a social institution with responsibility to set appropriate tone and example. Conduct or language that reflects otherwise will not be tolerated. The use of slurs embarrasses the individual, the club and the game."
Ripping into Heath Bell - Guillen blasted Heath Bell for his disappointing season during a September interview with Miami radio station WQAM. ''It was my turn this week,'' Guillen said. ''Last week it was the pitching coach. The week before it was his teammates. Every week it's something. That's why I don't respect him as a person. You have to have principles.''
Declining to visit White House - In 2005, after the Chicago White Sox won the World Series, Guillen declined to join in the traditional visit to the White House. This was seen as disrespectful to some Americans.
Moving Carlos Zambrano to the bullpen - The Carlos Zambrano experiment in South Florida was a major failure. Guillen showed that he has no trust in Zambrano when he moved him to the bullpen shortly after the start of the 2012 season.
Speaking out against Arizona law to deal with illegal immigration - Guillen described illegal immigrants as "workaholics." "And this country can't survive without them," he said. "There are a lot of people from this country who are lazy. We're not. Prove me wrong. A lot of people in this country want to be on the computer and send e-mails to people. We do the hard work. We're the ones who go out and work in the sun to make this country better."
Guillen says Asian players are treated better than Latino players - Guillen said that Asian players were treated better than Latino players, stating that while it is common practice for major league clubs to provide a Japanese or Korean translator for their Asian born players, no such translator is provided for their Spanish-speaking Latin American ballplayers.
Benching Alex Rios and Adam Dunn - Guillen caused a stir by benching Alex Rios and Adam Dunn during a rough slump in 2011 while he was manager of the White Sox. "I'm going to do it with Dunn the same way I did it with Rios -- a couple of days out of the lineup, hopefully refresh his mind, put his stuff together and start over," Guillen said. "We did a lot different things with him and nothing worked. … Right now it's a struggle, his mind is all over the place. I think right now that's what's killing him."
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- Ozzie Guillen
- Fidel Castro
- Heath Bell
- Miami Marlins