Ibanez declines to discuss Ozzie comments

Ibanez declines to discuss Ozzie comments

BALTIMORE -- Yankees designated hitter Raul Ibanez makes his home in Miami and is of Cuban descent, but he declined on Tuesday to offer any thoughts on the situation with the Marlins and manager Ozzie Guillen.

"I get paid to play baseball for the Yankees and to help the Yankees win games," Ibanez said. "That's the only thing I focus on and the only thing I care about right now. ... I just don't see anything that gets outside of that realm; it's just not productive for me or for the team."

Guillen was suspended for five games by the Marlins for comments he made about Cuba's Fidel Castro. According to Time Magazine, Guillen said, "I love Fidel Castro," remarks he apologized for in a news conference held on Tuesday in Miami.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who piloted the Marlins in 2006, said that Guillen is now in "a difficult situation" because of how important the Cuban community is to South Florida.

"It's important to that area," Girardi said. "You start talking about Dade County and the amount of Latin Americans that are there, it's a big contingency. As people, it's always important how we choose our words. I'm always careful, and I'm careful about what I talk about. Even some things I think I know, I'm careful about what I say.

"We're paid to talk about baseball. We're not paid to talk about other things. Obviously, you're going to be asked about them, and people would like a reaction, but you open yourself up to certain things and you open your organization up to certain things, so I think it's important that we talk about baseball. That's what we're paid to talk about."