It didn’t take 15 seconds before you heard Ozzie Guillen drop an f-bomb. Then he dropped another. And another. That’s the expected and obvious first impression of “The Franchise: A Season with the Miami Marlins” on Showtime, which debuts Wednesday, July 11.
Last year the San Francisco Giants were featured on Showtime’s version of “Hard Knocks,” a series HBO has perfected with the NFL.
The sneak peak episode offered this weekend to Showtime customers provided an insider’s look at main moments and issues surrounding the Marlins early in the 2012 season, specifically opening night at their new ballpark and the cultural blunder Guillen made when he said he loved Fidel Castro.
Guillen set the tone in an initial meeting with the club where he said last year and previous seasons mean nothing, referring to their “ugly ass ballpark and ugly ass uniforms.”
“When you win, everything is beautiful,” he told the team, “even your wife likes you a little better.”
In that speech, team owner Jeffrey Loria clocked Guillen with saying the f-word 97 times.
“That’s the only way you get their attention,” Guillen joked.
Naturally, the teaser episode touched on the acquisition of Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Carlos Zambrano and Heath Bell.
In the short amount of time you see them interacting, Jose Reyes and teammate Hanley Ramirez seem to be getting along, which is contrary to the reports that Ramirez was steamed about having to play third base.
“We’re always going to be together,” Ramirez said, “like Dwayne Wade and Lebron.”
The most emotional aspect of the episode was Guillen confronting his five-game suspension, talking with the media about his Castro remark and seeing team president David Samson actually issue the suspension in Guillen’s office. After his press conference at the ballpark, Guillen was shown in the hallway breaking down in tears.
There’s no denying Guillen is as colorful a manager as you can find in baseball, if not all sports. Stay tuned to the real season debut in July to hate or love the flamboyant baseball personality.
“We want people to hate this f**cking ball club,” he said. “When people hate somebody it’s because they’re f**cking good.”
To view clips from the show, click here.
-Chris R. Vaccaro