Ozzie Guillen, baseball manager of the Florida Marlins, has finally said something that has generated massive blowback. He was suspended for five games and apologized in a long press conference on Tuesday (10 April), as summarized by Yahoo! At issue was something Guillen said.
The Yahoo! article quoted Guillen’s most relevant comment from the Time article (headlined “Big Fish”. Sorry. The link takes you only to the first paragraph, which is free.):
“I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that [expletive] is still here.”
Oh yeah. There was another quote from Guillen. The entire article began with a four-word quotation from him. The opener: “I love Fidel Castro.”
He spent much of the press conference back-pedaling from the remarks due to the firestorm he sparked among Fidel-Loathing Cuban Americans in Miami. I appreciate that Guillen put the brakes on before coming out and claiming that Time’s Sean Gregory misquoted him.
The problem, the coach said, was translation. Here’s what he said, according to HuffingtonPost.com:
“In the translation from Spanish to English you lose a lot. I don’t want to make any excuses, but what I wanted to say is that I was surprised that Castro had been in power for so long, after hurting so many people. But something was lost in the translation from Spanish to English.”
He said this in Spanish. HuffPo translated it into English. Translation is always tricky. It’s still unclear how he got so quickly from “I love Fidel Castro” to, paraphrasing here, “I hate Fidel Castro.”
Would love to find out what he actually said–in Spanish, I presume–to the Time writer.