Ozzie Guillen, the Venezuelan motormouth baseball manager, was recently hired by the Miami Marlins. (For an intro to Ozzie's personality, here's the video "Ozzie Guillen Visits a Sick Child.") He quickly got himself semi-Watsoned for saying, in the midst of one of his usual stream-of-consciousness effusions:
Guillen’s comments appeared in a Time magazine article, in which he said he “loved” and “respected” Castro, the longtime Cuban leader. Time reported that Guillen said: “I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years,” but Castro is still here, he added, referring to Castro as an expletive.
So, the Marlins suspended Guillen for five games.
As I've long pointed out, anti-Castro Cubans swing a lot of weight in Miami. There's not much in the way of effective freedom of speech on Castro-related topics down there. The good news is that they aren't stealthy about it. They revel in being known for publicly crushing dissent. They think that shows how powerful they are. (The career fate of Miami Cuban ex-CNN anchorman Rick Sanchez, however, shows that for national power, it's best to make it a taboo to even mention how powerful your group is.)
Every year, the rest of America becomes more like Miami, just on different topics.
Off topic, that reminds me that I once sat right behind home plate at a White Sox game with all the players' wives and relatives who get the special tickets. A whole bunch of Ozzie's kin and in-laws were there, with the men all wearing lots of silver jewelry. They were a fun bunch. I sat right behind future Hall of Famer Frank Thomas's wife (now ex-), who was showing all the other players' wives this huge diamond he'd given her. Good times.