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Marlins suspend Guillen for pro-Castro comments

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MIAMI -- Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen was suspended for five games Tuesday because of his comments about Fidel Castro, and he again apologized and said he'll do whatever he can to repair relations with Cuban-Americans angered by the remarks.

The suspension by the team takes effect immediately. It was announced shortly before Guillen held a news conference to explain what he said.

The 48-year-old Venezuelan told Time magazine he loves Castro and respects the retired Cuban leader for staying in power so long. In response, at least two local officials said Guillen should lose his job.

At the news conference, Guillen said his comments were misinterpreted by the reporter, and he doesn't love or admire the dictator.

"I was saying I cannot believe somebody who hurt so many people over the years is still alive," Guillen told the news conference.

But Guillen took responsibility for the uproar, and said it left him sad and embarrassed. He also said he accepted the team's punishment.

"I'm very sorry about the problem, what happened," said Guillen, who is only five games into his tenure with the Marlins. "I will do everything in my power to make it better. ... I know it's going to be a very bumpy ride."

Guerrero: didn't attack cop

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Former major leaguer Vladimir Guerrero said he has surrendered to police after authorities contend he attacked a police officer in a disco. Guerrero denied being part of an attack.

Police said no charges have been filed against Guerrero following the mayhem in Nizao, about 40 miles from Santo Domingo.

Maximo Baez Aybar, a spokesman for the police in the Dominican Republic, maintained Guerrero "physically attacked" police officer Renato Pena Rojas after a brawl broke out in the disco. Baez Aybar asked that Guerrero turn himself in "so the case can be put in the hands of the justice system."

"At no time did I attack anyone, nor was I fleeing," Guerrero told The Associated Press. "I presented myself at the jail last night after the complaint from the disco, and this morning first thing I went to the police that are handling the case."

Parcells to Saints unlikely

NEW ORLEANS -- Bill Parcells is unlikely to become the New Orleans Saints' interim coach, according to multiple reports.

Parcells prefers to remain retired and not replace his protege and friend, Sean Payton, who will serve a season-long suspension for his role in New Orleans' bounty system, the reports said.

Saints spokesman Greg Bensel declined Tuesday to confirm Parcells has been ruled out as a possible Payton replacement, saying the team "has nothing to report" concerning the search for an interim coach.

Parcells' agent, Jimmy Sexton, also declined comment.

If the Saints decide to select a replacement from their existing staff, the leading candidates are: assistant head coach Joe Vitt, who will serve a six-game suspension; offensive co-ordinator Pete Carmichael Jr.; offensive line coach Aaron Kromer; new defensive co-ordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

Last season, Vitt and Carmichael took on significant additional responsibilities when Payton was rehabilitating for weeks from a broken leg.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 11, 2012 D4

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