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Weekend Buzz: Guillen is a stooge, but he's the Marlins' stooge


The Marlins hope to keep Guillen from having to do another news conference to apologize. (AP)  
The Marlins hope to keep Guillen from having to do another news conference to apologize. (AP)  

The Weekend Buzz while you were at the theater watching The Three Stooges Larry David as Sister Mary-Mengele? If you haven't seen it, go -- well, as soon as you finish reading the Buzz. ...

1. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk-lehead: It's been so quiet in the Marlins dugout, you can hear the White Sox laughing all the way from Chicago.

Seriously. Ozzie Guillen's mouth always has arrived a few steps ahead of the rest of him. But this Fidel Castro storm landed him in hot water in record time. Already, I can't wait for Tuesday, when he returns from a five-game suspension, to hear what Ozzie thinks about North Korea. And Iran.

Guillen hasn't even managed a week's worth of games, and already this spring we've learned his thoughts on Castro and exactly what part of the female anatomy he loves best (hint: it's not the brains).

The Marlins never were going to control Guillen's outsized personality.

But what, exactly, was he doing this spring talking with Time and GQ?

The Marlins hired him in no small part to put them on the map as they look to re-brand themselves nationally with the new ballpark and a new image as players in the free-agent market. And so he has.

You name it, he'll give you his opinion on it. Arizona's immigration law, Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez, Castro, homosexuality, the list goes on. There is no filter.

This is what Ozzie does. Colleague Danny Knobler the other day recapped some of Ozzie's Greatest Hits.

He is the opposite of politically correct, and so many times that is refreshing in a game that long ago went corporate and homogenized. But that also comes with an inherent danger (and not, unfortunately, a personalized fire extinguisher).

The man is flammable when he's just speaking to the local beat writers. And the Marlins are fine putting him out there in front of Time, GQ and whomever else asks?

This was a jaw-dropping mistake, especially in South Florida, home to countless people who have been brutalized by Castro -- and many who still have loved ones under his evil thumb.

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Ozzie is not a bad guy. He is passionate and well-meaning. But he also is a ticking time bomb.

I think his apology was genuine, and I think he will work hard to make things right with the Cuban community he offended. But business is business, and if there are boycotts and dwindling attendance, this still might be one storm Ozzie fails to survive.

One thing going forward is this: Just as Ozzie must grow and recognize moments when he must zip it, the Marlins must understand that it is incumbent upon them to help protect him from himself. If they can't figure that out, then shame on them.

Allowing Ozzie to discuss politics and the female anatomy with every glossy magazine that comes knocking at the door of their Fish Tank is not the way to do it.

2. Dewey, Cheatem & Howe: After pulling into a tie on the all-time home run list with Ken Griffey Jr. on Friday when he clubbed No. 630, Alex Rodriguez waxed rhapsodic about the occasion, and his old Mariners' teammate.

"Griff is special to me, because we came up together," A-Rod told reporters. "He was a teammate, a brother and a mentor all in one. It was a special day."

Before we all reach for the tissues, let's just make sure A-Rod understands one monster difference: One of the two has no link whatsoever to performance-enhancing drugs. Thus making a "special" day for A-Rod not nearly as "special" as it might have been.

3. Ha-rang? His face rings a bell: Former Padre Aaron Harang started Friday night's game in Los Angeles by fanning nine consecutive Padres to break a Dodgers record that had stood for nearly 50 years. And how appropriate was it that he broke the record held by Johnny Podres (July 2, 1962, eight consecutive K's) against the Padres? By weekend's end, the Dodgers had beaten the Padres with a walk-off walk while also turning a shocking 2-5-6-3 triple play. Oh, and Vin Scully was back in the booth Sunday. The Dodgers are 9-1 with Matt Kemp slugging 1.026.

4. Oh, wise guy, eh? Terry Francona and Axl Rose, brothers-in-arms. Rose boycotted the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame induction of Guns 'n Roses, and Francona is passing on Boston's invitation to participate in Fenway Park's 100th anniversary. Rose is just nuts. Francona has good reason.

"I just can't go back there and start hugging people and stuff without feeling a little bit hypocritical," Francona told the Boston Globe, and for the Red Sox to expect anything different after running him out of town last October is utterly naive.

5. Why, soitanly: The Cardinals honored their latest World Series champions before Friday's home opener, handed out the Fall Classic rings on Saturday and then, in a dangerous game of Too Many Carpenters on Sunday, watched Matt Carpenter prove he's no Shemp to Chris Carpenter's Curly. Though ace Chris is out indefinitely, Matt did the Carpenter name proud by collecting five RBI in Sunday's win over the Cubs while playing first in place of injured Lance Berkman.

6. Spread out! Two out Friday in the White Sox home opener and the game was delayed for 10 minutes when hawkeye Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera pointed out that the batter's box was laid out a few inches too close to the pitcher's mound. If third base doesn't work out for Cabrera, drafting and architecture just might.

7. Who has the donut remover? Off to an impressive encore following his 21-4 mark a year ago, Arizona's Ian Kennedy is 2-0 this season and 12-0 in his past 17 starts against NL West teams.

8. Why, you. ... They weren't hollering "Chooo", they were yelling "booo" when Royals lefty Jonathan Sanchez drilled Cleveland's Shin-Soo Choo on Saturday, sparking a bench-clearing incident. Juiciest part came later, when Indians closer Chris Perez tweeted, "Huge team win tonight; time for a sweep to tell the Royals it's not "Our Time", it's #TribeTime. P.S.: You hit us, we hit you. Period." "Our Time" is Kansas City's 2012 theme. But it's that last part that will make the remaining 15 games between the Royals and Indians this season Must See TV.

9. "Good luck, son": While the Cardinals were celebrating their World Series title, the Giants were staging a classy pre-game ceremony of their own before Friday's home opener. Tyler Stow, 13, son of the Giants' fan who was beaten in the Dodger Stadium parking lot last April, threw out the ceremonial first pitch after dad Bryan delivered a video message to both fans and his son.

10. No. 42 forever: Everyone wore No. 42 Sunday in what has become an annual Jackie Robinson Day tradition, one of the best things baseball does. Know how it started? Ken Griffey Jr. came up with the idea several years ago, asked Commissioner Bud Selig if he could wear No. 42 -- and then phoned Jackie's widow, Rachel Robinson, to get her blessing before he dared wear the retired number. No, A-Rod, don't get ahead of yourself -- we knew Ken Griffey Jr., and you'll never be a Ken Griffey Jr. No matter how many home runs you hit.


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