04/17/12 5:43 PM ET
Ozzie back, hopes his actions speak volumes
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
A contrite Guillen returned to the Marlins' dugout on Tuesday after completing a team-imposed five-game suspension for controversial comments he made about Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
The money the manager lost while serving his suspension will eventually be put toward Miami's Cuban community. Guillen and the Marlins are in the process of identifying a handful of organizations that could benefit from the financial contribution.
Guillen understands time will be needed to fully mend the wounds opened by his remarks that appeared in Time magazine.
"I don't expect to resolve this problem with money," Guillen told a large media gathering on Tuesday afternoon at Marlins Park. "I expect to resolve this problem with acts."
The Marlins went 2-3 in Guillen's absence.
While the team played its weekend series against the Astros, Guillen watched from his Miami home with his wife.
"It was a tough couple of days," said Guillen, who accepted his suspension and repeatedly apologized. "I feel proud of the coaching staff and the players because they played well. I wish we could have won a couple of more games. I'm excited to be back with them."
On April 10, Guillen returned to Miami from Philadelphia, where the team was playing. He was informed that he was receiving a five-game suspension. The manager then faced the media and his critics at Marlins Park in front of a packed interview room, with about 200 protesters outside.
Exactly a week later, Guillen was back in uniform, addressing a large gathering of reporters in the Miami dugout three hours before the Marlins faced the Cubs.
Will the community forgive him?
"I hope so. I just said what I had to say a couple of days ago," Guillen said. "What I said, I meant it. I hope people do believe it. I don't expect everybody to be 100 percent on board with me. I don't. What I said, I said from the bottom of my heart.
"I meant every word I say. You learn how people support you -- players, front office, fans, Latino people, media. There is a lot of support out there. Obviously, some people are a little upset. I feel like a lot of people are supporting me. A lot of people believe what I say."
The Marlins players welcomed their manager back.
"He was distraught for a long time," said Miami native Gaby Sanchez, whose father was born in Cuba. "For three days there, he couldn't sleep or eat. Someone who doesn't care about the situation is not going to feel that way. But he did. He was honestly sickened himself by the whole entire situation of what was going on.
"My family knew what he was trying to say. It's one of those things. It's a hot topic in Miami. There's a Cuban community down here. It's one of those hot topics that you don't want to discuss."
The outspoken Guillen says he will be the same person, but he will temper his comments that are not related to baseball.
"I don't think I'm going to change," he said. "But obviously, talking about some issues that are not my business -- I'm going to learn from that. I learned a tough lesson. Very tough. Not just me, but my family."
With Guillen gone, bench coach Joey Cora filled in as manager. The team remained united during a tough time.
"We missed him, yeah," left fielder Logan Morrison said. "But to say that it was like [things are] that far out of the normal, where we were like, 'What do we do?' It wasn't like that. It was another day at the yard. We knew we had a job to do. That's what we were focused on."