Tino Martinez has resigned his job as Miami Marlins hitting coach over complaints that he abused players.
He evidently stands accused of grabbing rookie second baseman Derek Dietrich by the jersey in May during batting practice and also for verbally abusing other players from spring training onward. Dietrich’s agent apparently notified the Marlins of this incident last week when his client was sent to the minors. The player’s union also got involved
The Miami Herald reported the allegations today, and within hours the first-year hitting coach was gone from team. His resignation was accepted by team president Larry Beinfest in a brief press conference this afternoon.
Of his abrupt resignation,Tino Martinez said that “I want to apologize to the Marlins organization for my behavior. I have made some comments to certain players at certain times that I thought was more constructive criticism. Obviously, they didn’t feel that way, and it kind of backfired on me.”
Added Martinez: “I just thought with some young players you needed to be a little firmer and try to get them on the right track. I probably used some four-letter words. I thought I was doing the right thing. Obviously, I wasn’t.”
Martinez, 45, denied a report that he grabbed Dietrich by the neck, however.
Marlins minor league official John Pierson was named interim hitting coach. The woeful Miami Marlins are in last place in the National League East with a 40-63 record and also in last place in most MLB offensive categories.
Maritinez — who certainly had the credentials for the hitting coach position — was a 16-year MLB veteran with a lifetime batting average of.271 and 339 home runs and 1,271 RBI. He played six years with the Seattle Mariners, six years with the New York Yankees (where who won four World Championship titles), and finished up his career with the St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, and then returned to the Yankees for the final year of his active MLB service. Martinez also won the 1997 Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game.