Guillen sorry for praising Castro

CINCINNATI — Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen apologized Saturday for telling Time magazine that he loves Fidel Castro, a comment that prompted the team to issue a statement denouncing the Cuban dictator.

Guillen said he loves Castro and respects him for staying in power so long. When he read his comments Friday, he said he felt sick because he knew how people would react.

Guillen called the team's beat writers for a closed-door meeting Saturday.

"I will apologize if I hurt somebody's feelings, or I hurt somebody's thought," Guillen told the writers. "I want them to know I'm against everything 100 percent — I repeat it again — the way this man has (been) treating people for the last 60 years."

In response to the story, the Marlins released a statement saying, "There is nothing to respect about Fidel Castro.

"He is a brutal dictator who has caused unthinkable pain for more than 50 years. We live in a community filled with victims of this dictatorship, and the people in Cuba continue to suffer today."

TIGERS LOSE STARTER: Detroit RHP Doug Fister is headed to the 15-day disabled list with a left side injury. The Tigers will recall RHP Brayan Villarreal from Triple-A Toledo. Fister left his start against the Red Sox in the fourth inning with a left costochondral strain.

CRAWFORD HEALING: Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said that former Rays LF Carl Crawford, working his way back from January wrist surgery, should start playing in extended spring training games "very soon." In other Red Sox news, LHPs Rich Hill (elbow ligament replacement surgery) and Andrew Miller (left hamstring strain) were sent to Class A Greenville on rehab assignments.

RINGS FOR RANGERS: Texas players and staff were presented their 2011 American League championship rings, 48 in all, before the game against the White Sox. In other Rangers news, OF Brad Hawpe, who was released last week, signed a minor-league deal and was assigned to Double-A Frisco.

JIMENEZ DROPS APPEAL: Indians manager Manny Acta said RHP Ubaldo Jimenez planned to drop the appeal of his five-game suspension after his season debut. Jimenez was suspended for intentionally throwing at Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki in his final spring training start Sunday.

PHILLIPS MUM ON TALKS: Reds All-Star 2B Brandon Phillips said he's not going to discuss a contract extension that has been in the works since last season.

UECKER RETURNS: Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker was back at the ballpark one day after the death of his son. Steve Uecker died from complications related to San Joaquin Valley fever. He was 52.

CUBS: RHP Rodrigo Lopez's contract was selected from Triple-A Iowa, and INF Luis Valbuena was outrighted to the minor-league club.

METS: The team and LHP Jonathon Niese completed a $25.5 million, five-year contract that could keep him through 2018.

TWINS: RHP Liam Hendriks was scratched from his scheduled start today with food poisoning.

WHITE SOX: Veteran RHP Kip Wells, Chicago's first-round draft pick in 1998, signed a minor-league deal. Wells, 34, hasn't pitched in the majors since 2009.

YANKEES: LHP Andy Pettitte said he is pleased with his progress and is looking forward to pitching Monday in extended spring training, his second game action since he ended a one-year retirement. Pettitte played catch one day after a 45-pitch bullpen session.

Guillen sorry for praising Castro 04/07/12 [Last modified: Saturday, April 7, 2012 10:43pm]

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