Ozzie Guillen 'against' Fidel Castro

Updated: April 9, 2012, 2:40 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

CINCINNATI -- Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen apologized Saturday for telling a magazine he loves Fidel Castro, two days after saying he gets drunk at the hotel bar after every game and has been doing so "for 25, 28 years. It doesn't change."

Guillen told Time magazine he loves Castro and respects him for staying in power so long. When Guillen read his comments Friday, he said he felt sick because he knew how people would react.

The Castro comment also prompted the team to issue a statement denouncing the Cuban dictator.

Marlins 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.

-- Marlins statement in response to
an Ozzie Guillen magazine interview

Guillen called the team's beat writers for a closed-door meeting before his team's 8-3 win 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."

On Thursday, Guillen talked to CBSSports.com about a routine dating to his early playing days.

"I go to the hotel bar, get drunk, sleep," Guillen said, according to the website. "I don't do anything else."

Guillen said he has rarely if ever ventured out to familiar tourist destinations such as Lower Manhattan or the Golden Gate Bridge while on the road. He's lived in Miami for 12 years, he said, and has been to South Beach three times.

"I get drunk because I'm happy we win or I get drunk because I'm very sad and disturbed because we lose," Guillen said. "Same routine, it never changes. It's been the same routine for 25, 28 years. It doesn't change. I don't like to go out."

Guillen said the routine leaves him wth little wiggle room before games.

"I don't have time," Guillen told CBSSports.com. "I've got to be here early, and I go to sleep so drunk that I have to recover in time to go to the park."

The Marlins, in response to the magazine story, released a statement saying, "There is nothing to respect about Fidel Castro.

Guillen I get drunk because I'm happy we win or I get drunk because I'm very sad and disturbed because we lose. Same routine, it never changes. It's been the same routine for 25, 28 years. It doesn't change. I don't like to go out.

-- Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen
to CBSSports.com

"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."

It's not the first time Guillen, from Venezuela, has made a strong comment about a controversial leader. During his first news conference as Marlins manager in September, he bristled at a suggestion he supports Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

"Don't tell my wife that, because she hates that man. She hates him to death," Guillen said. "I supported Chavez? If I was supporting Chavez, do you think I would be manager of the Marlins? I never supported Chavez."

Guillen said he never has spoken to Chavez, but in fact he appeared on the Venezuelan leader's national radio show twice in October 2005, when Guillen led the Chicago White Sox to the World Series title. At the time, Guillen said: "Not too many people like the president. I do. My mom will kill me, but it's an honor to talk to the president."

Guillen became a U.S. citizen in 2006, and has been more critical of Chavez in recent years.

"It's not my fault Chavez is the president," Guillen said. "I didn't put him there. ... We got what we deserved."

Regarding his postgame habit, Guillen told CBSSports.com it gave him a leg up on those who often hit the town at night.

"I never get in trouble, you see that?" Guillen said. "I never leave the hotel. Nobody can call my wife and tell her they see Ozzie in this bar or place. ... I never get in trouble, I don't go out. If I got drunk and someone talked [smack] to me, there'd be a fight. I'm too little to fight. If I was (Giancarlo) Stanton's size, I would be looking for fights. I can't. I might get killed."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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