Monday, April 16, 2012
Hurricane Ozzie awaits Cubs in Miami
By Doug Padilla
MIAMI -- The Chicago Cubs don’t know what to expect when they arrive at the Miami Marlins' new ballpark Tuesday, but are prepared for practically anything.
Ozzie Guillen is expected back from his suspension just in time for the Cubs' first visit to the Marlins' new park on Tuesday.
With Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen returning for his first game back from a five-game suspension a large gathering of media is sure to await. But more pressing issues for the visitors are the need to play with more consistency and winning their first series of the season.
Despite the new surroundings, an elaborate home-run feature to the left of center field and the Guillen situation, manager Dale Sveum is confident the team will be able to focus on the job at hand.
“[Guillen’s] first day back will be Tuesday, and I think there is definitely going to be added press and media and questions,” Sveum said. “It’s just an unfortunate incident that happened and hopefully it goes away pretty quick, but it’s not going to go away when we’re there.”
Guillen was suspended by his own team for saying to Time magazine that he admired Cuban dictator Fidel Castro’s ability to stay in power for such a long time. Many in Miami’s large Cuban community were upset and protests at the ballpark are expected Tuesday and beyond.
The Cubs have yet to receive word on any additional security precautions that might be in place by Major League Baseball.
“I’m sure you might get something or we might have adjustments, but we haven’t heard anything yet, no,” Sveum said. “But I’m sure there will be protesters, obviously. That will happen. Whether it’s a lot or a few, who knows?”
Despite it all, Sveum isn’t expecting it to be an issue for his team, even if his players are asked about the Guillen issue ad nauseam.
“Is it a distraction? It’s just another question to a player,” Sveum said. “At [game time] nobody is worried about the question that was asked or the answer they gave unless it was something gargantuan answer that created a lot of stuff in the media. Distractions like that for us are very minimal if at all.”