Marlins have no doubt about Ozzie's sincerity

Marlins have no doubt about Ozzie's sincerity

Marlins have no doubt about Ozzie's sincerity
PHILADELPHIA -- Playing the next five games without manager Ozzie Guillen should be a small adjustment for the Marlins' players.

That's because bench coach Joey Cora, who will be filling in, is so closely tied to how Guillen manages the game.

"Joey is involved with the everyday operations," catcher John Buck said. "[Ozzie] and Joey are pretty tightly knitted, to where stuff is run through Joey quite a bit already. The fact [that Ozzie] won't be there, that's the only thing that's different. The baseball stuff I don't think will change much."

On Tuesday, the Marlins announced that they were suspending Guillen without pay for five games for his controversial comments in Time magazine. The suspension, effective immediately, was made shortly before the outspoken manager addressed the media during a news conference at Marlins Park.

Guillen traveled to Miami on Monday night, after the Marlins beat the Phillies, 6-2, at Citizens Bank Park. Sitting alone, he accepted full responsibility for the comments he made about Fidel Castro. Guillen spoke in English and Spanish while dozens of protesters stood outside.

In Philadelphia, many of Guillen's players watched the news conference from their hotel.

"He was sincere in his apology," said first baseman Gaby Sanchez, a native of Miami whose father was born in Cuba. "It was good to see him out there apologizing, trying to set everything straight.

"He looked very sincere to me. We just have to move forward and keep going. We've just got to go out there and play baseball and have another good game against the Phillies and win."

Since the story was released online last Friday, Guillen has been apologetic and remorseful for his comments. He said he's had several sleepless nights.

Guillen's dugout demeanor since then has been more subdued.

Major League Baseball, which reviewed the situation, issued a statement by Commissioner Bud Selig: "Major League Baseball supports today's decision by the Marlins to suspend Ozzie Guillen. As I have often said, baseball is a social institution with important social responsibilities. All of our 30 clubs play significant roles within their local communities, and I expect those who represent Major League Baseball to act with the kind of respect and sensitivity that the game's many cultures deserve.

"Mr. Guillen's remarks, which were offensive to an important part of the Miami community and others throughout the world, have no place in our game."

Guillen will be returning to Philadelphia, and he plans on apologizing to his players, who feel their skipper's remorse is sincere.

"I don't know if he needs to apologize to me," Buck said. "I know, talking to him before, that's not really what he meant. It happened. It came out. That's the damaging part, but I don't think he intended to hurt anybody.

"In that aspect, I feel like he doesn't really need to apologize to me. But if he is apologizing for the circus that has gone on, what it has caused, then yeah. But I think I knew the intent in his heart, and what he meant.

"You can see how it has affected him the last couple of days, how sincere he really is. You don't get Ozzie sincerely apologizing about anything. To see him affected this greatly and how bad it has hurt him, for him to say one thing and have it kind of get misinterpreted, that's the part you feel for him. You see how hard it is on him."

According to team president David Samson, owner Jeffrey Loria decided to move quickly with the suspension.

"These things just aren't tolerated. We swiftly moved under Jeffrey's leadership," Samson told reporters in Miami. "His extreme disappointment is not about how this impacts the team on the field. His extreme disappointment is knowing the impact those comments have on the community."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.