x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Ozzie Guillen returns from ban in winning fashion with Miami

First game back for coach since controversial comments about Fidel Castro led to suspension.

Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen has completed his suspension.
Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen has completed his suspension.

The Miami Marlins welcomed back manager Ozzie Guillen from a five game suspension with a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs in the MLB.

Guillen had been suspended by his team after he praised Cuba's Fidel Castro in a magazine interview, outraging prominent members of the large Cuban exile community in Miami.

The outspoken manager faced no major demonstrations or outbursts nd said he was relieved to get back to business.

"To be out for five days was very hard. The drive from my house is only 10 minutes, it felt like two hours," Guillen said.

"It was a little embarrassing (what happened). I live in Miami, I know how the people are, I know how they feel. I know (forgiveness) is going to be a process. I’m ready for the process."

The Marlins took the first step by beating the Cubs (3-8) behind a strong pitching performance from Josh Johnson and the hot bat of Hanley Ramirez.Johnson allowed just two runs over seven innings to keep the home team in the game, leaving with the score tied at 2-2, before Ramirez belted a three-run home run in the eighth to send Miami (5-6) to victory.

It was Ramirez’s second homer in as many games.Emilio Bonifacio added two hits and an RBI for Miami while Darwin Barney went 3-for-4 for the Cubs who have lost three successive games.

The Marlins have won three of four and were 2-3 during Guillen’s suspension.

Guillen apologised for the comments when he was in Philadelphia with the team then held a news conference in Miami to make a second apology specifically to the community.

"It was great to have him in the dugout," Marlins closer Heath Bell said. “We really want to win for him and try to put all that other stuff behind him.”