Guillen suspended:

Florida Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen was suspended this week for five games for his comments he made about Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Guillen told Time magazine for an article published last week that he loves Castro and respects him for staying in power for so long.

After Cuban-Americans in Miami expressed their displeasure with Guillen’s comments, Guillen flew back to Miami to express his side of the story in a press conference on Tuesday. A Cuban-American advocacy group in Miami wants Guillen fired.

Guillen apologized to the city and community.

“I feel like I betrayed my Latin community,” Guillen said. “I am here to say I am sorry with my heart in my hands and I want to say I’m sorry to all those people who are hurt indirectly or directly.

“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.”

Guillen said on Tuesday that he does not admire Castro, and that his comments came out wrong.

“The interpretation didn’t come out as I wanted,” Guillen said. “I was thinking in Spanish and I said the wrong thing in English.”

Guillen has always said what’s on his mind, and has gotten into hot water with his comments in the past.

Darvish wins debut: Yu Darvish didn’t have the best start to his major league career on Monday night, but when the star pitcher from the Japanese professional league settled down, he got the win for the Texas Rangers.

Darvish allowed four runs in a 42-pitch first inning and gave up another run in the second of the Rangers 11-5 win over the visiting Seattle Mariners. Later, he retired 10 straight batters.

“Mentally, I was very calm, but my body felt like it wanted to go and go and go,” Darvish said through a translator. “It was pretty much a battle all night. Just knowing my offense, if I could string those zeroes together, they would answer for me.”

And his teammates did. Nelson Cruz hit a three-run homer to tie the game 5-5 in the third. Mitch Moreland, Josh Hamilton and Ian Kinsler also hit home runs.

Darvish, who has a guaranteed $56 million, six-year contract, pitched into the sixth and finished with eight hits allowed, four walks and five strikeouts.

StatsWatch: Who had the most popular jersey in baseball last season? Here’s a list of the biggest sellers last year, according to Major League Baseball:

  1. Derek Jeter, SS, Yankees
  2. Cliff Lee, LHP, Phillies
  3. Albert Pujols, 1B, Cardinals
  4. Josh Hamilton, CF, Rangers
  5. Roy Halladay, RHP, Phillies

Diamond Notes: Atlanta Braves 3B Chipper Jones had his team-record streak of 16 consecutive Opening Day starts end this season. Jones, 40, is on the disabled list, recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery…Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey says he’ll return before the end of the season. Bailey had surgery last week for a torn ligament in his right thumb. The injury occurred in sprint training…White Sox DH Adam Dunn hit his eighth Opening Day home run, tying Frank Robinson and Ken Griffey Jr….Toronto and Cleveland worked overtime in the first two games of the season. The Blue Jays won in 16 innings on Opening Day, and again in 12 innings in the second game of the series. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time since 1969 that any team had played at least 12 innings in the first two games of the season…Tigers 1B Prince Fielder got his 1,000th hit in Sunday’s game against Boston.

Copyright 2012 Bob Hurst. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Hurst Sports Media


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