The controversy over Ozzie Guillen’s statements regarding Fidel Castro occur at a fascinating intersection of money, politics and baseball, resulting in a media tempest and a five days suspension for Guillen. There are two reasons why Guillen’s comments in praise of Castro might have gotten him in trouble. The first reason would be that his political views angered the Marlins ownership. The second reason could be that Guillen’s, at best, poorly phrased, admiration for Castro, risked alienating the Marlins from Miami’s sizable Cuban-American population, many of whom are baseball fans.
If controversy surrounding Frank McCourt were happening to the owner of the Yankees instead of the Dodgers owner, books would already have been written and the casting for the HBO special would be well underway. Because it is happening in baseball’s second largest media market, rather than New York, ithas not gotten the attention it might have. It could be argued that given the size of the Los Angeles market and the import of the Dodgers to baseball in general, the story has gotten surprisingly little publicity.
For some people, the identity forged by allegiance to a favorite sports team is a way to remember the city where they grew up, a parent or childhood in general. This is one of the great things about being a fan, but to read anything more than this into one’s choice of baseball teams, while tempting, would be a mistake.