Ozzie Guillen has issued a public apology for his inopportune encomium of Fidel Castro. He is profusely contrite and penitent. His employer, the Miami Marlins, has seen fit to suspend him for 5 games. At a salary of $2.5 million a year, or approximately $15,432 a game, Guillen will forfeit $61, 728, or what's known in Major League Baseball as chump change.
Praising the Cuban dictator in an enclave of Cuban exiles and their descendants, with long memories of Castro's repressive ways, might very well be a certifiably insane thing to do. It may be excusable merely on these grounds. But is such a slap on the wrist a condign punishment for this lunacy? What of Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig's outrage? And MLB's responsibility to respect the sensitivities and values of an ethnic community? Was the token financial penalty imposed on Ozzie proportionate to his offense? I think not.
What punishment would fit the crime? Ozzie has famously said that only health is more important than money. And when it comes to money, a 5-day suspension hardly registers on the pain-o-meter.