Tino Martinez reportedly once challenged Casey Kotchman to a fight

Tino-Martinez-MarlinsMiami Marlins hitting coach Tino Martinez resigned on Sunday amid accusations that he has physically and verbally abused players. The agent for rookie second baseman Derek Dietrich reportedly informed team officials that Martnez blew up at Dietrich and grabbed him by the neck, and it is starting to sound like Martinez had a history of similar behavior.

Martinez admitted that he has cursed at players and raised his voice but denied ever physically abusing anyone.

“I want to say that I never physically touched anyone by the neck,” Martinez said, via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “That never happened. I have made some comments to certain players at certain times that I thought were more constructive criticism on separate occasions. Obviously they didn’t feel that way and it kind of backfired on me.

“I just thought with some young players you needed to be a little firmer and try to get them on the right track, but obviously I made a mistake and I apologize for that to the Marlins’ organization, my family and everyone involved.”

A source reportedly told the Sun-Sentinel that Martinez has been at odds with Marlins management for months, including manager Mike Redmond. A person who witnessed the alleged assault against Dietrich confirmed that Martinez grabbed him. Martinez reportedly had problems with several players and even tried to fight first basemen Casey Kotchman at one point during the season.

The Sun-Sentinel also reported that Martinez and Redmond recently had a verbal altercation and that Redmond made it clear he wanted the former New York Yankee gone. Despite the fact that Martinez had disagreements with several players, owner Jeffrey Loria tried to stop him from handing in his resignation.

“[Resigning] was the right thing to do,” Martinez said. “[Loria] thought there were other options, but no, that’s the right thing to do.”

Apparently the behavior has been going on since spring training, when Martinez reportedly blew up on minor league infielder Matt Downs for taking advice from minor league hitting coach Greg Norton instead of consulting with him. In fact, his mood swings have been so severe that some people within the organization have questioned whether Martinez is bi-polar.

Martinez was a fan favorite during his 16-year big league career, but how did he last this long with the Marlins? It sounds like Loria was protecting him, which isn’t surprising considering some of the questionable decisions the Marlins owner has been known to make. If these stories are true, Martinez should have been gone long ago.

Casey Kotchman suffers hand injury trying to prevent pop-up machine from falling

Pitching-machineSpring training is an extremely dangerous time for MLB players. Just when you think you may have heard it all when it comes to bizarre injuries, something new comes along. Miami Marlins first baseman Casey Kotchman provided yet another example of that earlier this week.

Being the courteous veteran that he is, Kotchman grabbed a pop-up machine at Marlins practice to keep it from breaking when it was about to fall over. According to The Palm Beach Post, he sliced the ring and middle fingers on his right hand in the process, leading to four stitches.

“(I was) trying to be a gentleman to the machine and try not to throw it down on the ground,” Kotchman explained. “It sounds like my teammates would have been happy if the drill was over and the machine got broke.

“The wheel was kind of cutting my finger. I guess instead of hitting it over I held onto it and kind of picked it up and it just kept slicing. I didn’t even realize it was bleeding at first. When I walked back to first base, ok it is bleeding.”

Kotchman is referring to teammate Greg Dobbs, who needled him about grabbing the machine.

“Why did you grab it?” Dobbs jokingly asked. “What was going through your brain? Dude, if the machine falls and breaks the drill is over.”

I’m guessing professional baseball teams have more than one pitching machine in case something breaks, we are talking about the Miami Marlins so you never know. Kotchman said the injury is probably the most bizarre he has suffered during his nine-year career.

“That’s got to be one of (them),” he said. “It’s probably not every day that you get your hand caught in the pitching machine on a pop fly.”

In an offseason where we have already seen injuries like this, this, and this, nothing is all that strange to us anymore.

H/T Eye on Baseball