Evans Clinchy
Thursday April 12th, 2012

Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen has been a lot in the last few days, dealing with the aftermath of an unfortunate comment he made last week about Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. But he does have one ally to help him through the ordeal: former NBA star Charles Barkley, who says he's offered support to Guillen.

"I tried to reach out to Ozzie yesterday, because when I got my DUI, or when I spit on the girl back in the '80s, hey man, when they're burning down your damn house, it's tough, man," Barkley said in an ESPN Radio interview. "It's tough when you really screw up and you can't watch TV or listen to the radio.

"Everybody makes mistakes, unfortunately when you do them publicly, you get nailed to the cross, but you have to ride it out. I always tell people, the good thing about it is somebody else is going to screw up soon."

Guillen said last week in an interview with Time Magazine that he "loves" Castro and "respects" him for staying in power for a long time. He went back on those remarks yesterday, declaring in a press conference that he does not love or admire Castro.

The team did not consider firing Guillen, but president David Samson did announce a five-game suspension for the Marlins' new skipper. "You have to be really careful when you talk about the Cuban situation in Miami," Barkley said. "Obviously it's a hot-button issue. It was unfortunate. It's interesting when I sit back, all you can do is apologize. Some people are going to forgive you and some people not. I always sit back and people are like was his apology sincere? ... All you can do is apologize. Sometimes you get caught up in the moment."

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