JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Ozzie Guillen II

The more I think about the Marlins suspending Ozzie Guillen, the more disturbed I become.

Once again, I don’t agree with his take on Cuba. But I do believe, in this country, you should be allowed to have a take. And, furthermore, if Major League Baseball is going to require its participants to be interviewed, well, people have opinions. And they aren’t always pretty, or cute, or easily boxed.

Why, the whole thing reminds me of the John Rocker affair of 13 years back, when MLB suspended the man. I have no love for Rocker. Literally, nary a sliver of love exists for him. However, when the decision was made, based upon comments he said to me, well, I was outraged. Here was an interview approved by Major League Baseball, held with one of its participants concerning (laregly) a subject under its watch (baseball), and—BAM!—Bud Selig gets angry when the answers don’t work for him.

Like Rocker, Guillen doesn’t fit into a little happy box. He’s loud and brash and oftentimes dumb. But if you’re going to have microphones, expect words.

And if you expect words, expect discomfort.