Well, it looks like Tino Martinez isn’t entirely the class act we thought he was.
Martinez resigned as hitting coach of the Miami Marlins Sunday amid allegations of verbal abuse and other transgressions. Martinez admitted he once grabbed rookie Derek Dietrich by the jersey in anger. Dietrich and other Marlins players complained about Tino’s behavior.
Apparently, Martinez felt he could shout, insult, and manhandle a bunch of Double-A players into a team full of Tony Gwynns. The 2013 Marlins have one superstar – Giancarlo Stanton – and bunch of young players trying to learn the major league game. They were asked to grow up a little faster by an organization (led by owner Jeffrey Loria) that gutted its team of veteran players during the offseason. What they need is instruction, not insults.
Martinez offered his resignation earlier in the season, but Loria, in another display of stellar judgement, turned it down.
“I want to apologize to the Marlins organization for my behavior,” Martinez said. “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.” – via CBS.
It sounds like the criticism was more destructive than constructive.
Before this incident, Martinez had a reputation of being one of the game’s good guys. He was a beloved member of the championship Yankees teams of the late 90s, and before then, a resurgent Seattle Mariners team.
“I probably used some four-letter words. I thought I was doing the right thing. Obviously, I wasn’t.”
How odd. Usually hurling insults at young ballplayers makes them better hitters. How did it not work this time?
Hopefully, Martinez uses this episode of his career to learn how to be less of a task master, and more of an instructor. Of course, after this, he’ll probably have a hard time finding another job as a hitting coach.