There once was a tale about two very big and very different fish. One fish was on Marlin who recently moved from Chicago to Miami while the other one is affectionately known as the “big tuna”. While each fish is very different, they both carry a high-profile.
Okay, so not really talking about fish. Of course, I’m talking about Ozzie Guillen and NFL coaching legend and soon to be Hall of Famer Bill Parcells.
They have more in common than you may think. Well, besides the fact that they’ve both been in the news a lot lately albeit for two very different reasons.
Let’s start with Ozzie.
Florida I mean Miami Marlins – Ozzie’s new team - suspended the outspoken manager for five games for comments he made in which he expressed admiration for Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Last week Guillen told Time magazine that he loves Castro and respects him for staying in power for so long.
Those comments started a firestorm of criticism and backlash towards Guillen that ultimately led to his apology and subsequent suspension. Here is a portion of his apology originally spoken in Spanish but later translated in English by ESPN:
“I’m sorry for what I said and for putting people in a position they don’t need to be in. And for all the Cuban families, I’m sorry,” he said, according to ESPN’s translation. “I hope that when I get out of here, they will understand who Ozzie Guillen is. How I feel for them. And how I feel about the Fidel Castro dictatorship. I’m here to face you, person to person. It’s going to be a very difficult time for me.”
“The interpretation didn’t come out as I wanted,” Guillen said in Spanish, according to ESPN’s translation. “I was thinking in Spanish and I said the wrong thing in English.”
Guillen was then asked how this statement “I love Fidel Castro” can be misinterpreted and he followed with this response:
“Everybody in the world hates Fidel Castro, including myself,” Guillen said. “I was surprised that he’s still in power. That’s what I was trying to say to the journalist. And that’s the first thing that came out of my mouth. I admit it. It was the wrong words.”
Showing admiration for Fidel Castro is nothing new for Ozzie. In fact, Ozzie was asked in a 2008 interview with Men’s Journal who was the toughest man he knew. Without hesitation he answered the question… I’ll give you one guess who he said it was.
Obviously, Ozzie is no stranger to controversy especially when it comes to him opening his mouth and saying something he probably shouldn’t have. This is his first season at the managerial helm of the Marlins after a handful of tumultuous seasons as manager of the Chicago White Sox. If he doesn’t change his ways or at least think before he says something he may regret, Ozzie may find himself on the outs in Miami just as quick as he got there.
Parcells to Saints unlikely
From one big fish to another. Bill “big tuna” Parcells seems highly unlikely to coach the New Orleans Saints this upcoming season. Suspended Saints coach Sean Payton had hoped to bring in Parcells to help fill the void while Peyton serves his season-long suspension for his role in the bounty scandal.
While there has been minimal communication between the Saints and Parcells in the past week, a source said that Parcells indicated to Payton in a recent conversation that he preferred to remain retired.
here are growing indications that the Saints will turn to Joe Vitt, the assistant head coach/linebackers, as the interim coach when the Saints begin their offseason program Monday, the day Payton begins serving his one-year suspension.
Vitt will serve a six-game suspension, but will be available to oversee the team’s offseason program. If he is asked to become the interim head coach, other assistants will manage the team when the season opens until Vitt returns after the sixth game.
The Saints still could ask other candidates on staff to fill the interim position, but Vitt is the strongest candidate. Other candidates on the Saints’ staff include offensive line coach Aaron Kromer, offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr., and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.
Last season, Vitt and Carmichael took on significant additional responsibilities when Payton was rehabilitating for weeks from a broken leg.
Vitt took on many of the broader responsibilities, including handling the head coach’s media availability. Carmichael began calling plays, something Payton had done before his injury. Payton allowed Carmichael to continue calling plays through the final 10 regular season games of 2011 as the Saints went 9-1 and broke numerous NFL offensive records.