Tino Martinez accused of physically and verbally abusing Miami Marlins players
Miami Marlins hitting coach Tino Martinez — who stepped down as the team’s hitting coach on Sunday — was previously prepared to give the team his resignation, but team owner Jeffrey Loria stepped in and made him change his mind. According to the Miami Herald, the issue is that Martinez has been accused of abusing a player.
The Herald’s Clark Spencer cited two sources who claim rookie second baseman Derek Dietrich’s agent, David Meter, recently contacted team officials to inform them that Martinez allegedly “erupted in anger unjustly and grabbed (Dietrich) by his neck and neck chain.” Dietrich was sent to the minors last week.
Meter would neither confirm nor deny that the incident took place, instead calling it a “team issue” and refusing to address it. Marlins spokesman TJ Loyello said that if there is an issue the team will look into it.
According to the Herald, Martinez and Marlins manager Mike Redmond weren’t on the field for batting practice at the start of Friday’s game because they were discussing the alleged incident. The Major League Baseball Players’ Association has reportedly been made aware of the incident and has contacted the commissioner’s office.
A Marlins player who spoke to Spencer under the condition of anonymity claimed Martinez’s temper and coaching methods have been an issue “since day one.”
“It’s all shocked everybody,” the player reportedly said. “He uses intimidation. It’s been a problem since day one.”
Sources claim that Martinez has gone off on “profanity-laced eruptions” before and that Justin Ruggiano, Chris Valaika, minor-leaguer Matt Downs and other players have also been the target of verbal abuse from him. Another player reportedly told the Herald that Martinez’s behavior has been one of the reasons the team has struggled.
“I think it’s definitely had an effect,” the player said.
In addition to everything described, Martinez also reportedly challenged Casey Kotchman to a fight and has some in the organization wondering if he is bi-polar.
Martinez spent 16 seasons in the majors and was a fan favorite with the New York Yankees.
H/T Eye on Baseball