Nearly a year after resigning from his job as hitting coach of the Miami Marlins, Tino Martinez was honest about the issues he had on the job, which included teaching what he felt were undisciplined, “soft” players.
Martinez, who clubbed 339 homers over 16 career seasons, spoke with WFAN’s Joe and Evan on Wednesday and talked about his time with the Marlins. He was asked if he had any bitterness over losing his job.
“I wouldn’t say there’s bitterness. It turned out to be a bad situation at the end there, but I wasn’t bitter. I was doing my job the best I could do it,” Martinez said, as transcribed by CBS Miami. “I was tough on some of the young players I thought needed to be — not disciplined — but they were walking around like they were 10-year veterans and I was trying to teach them the right way to do things, that’s all.
“In the end, I can’t say I was bitter, but maybe disappointed because I love coaching and was really enjoying that a lot.”
Martinez was accused of verbally and physically assaulting some of the Marlins players. A report said he challenged Casey Kotchman to a fight, and another said he got physical with Derek Dietrich because the youngster didn’t pick up balls.
“I was trying to teach these guys,” Martinez said. “These guys had a great opportunity. They didn’t belong in the big leagues. They just happened to be with the right organization that had injuries and got rid of the whole entire team the year before.
“It bothered me that they weren’t working hard enough and weren’t appreciating what they had. I was just trying to get them to understand, take advantage of this and make yourself a better player. They were very soft. They were very soft and that was the disappointing part, but I thought I was doing my job as a coach to get the most out of them.”
I really don’t think people would disagree with Tino if that’s all that was going on. If he was frustrated because he felt the guys weren’t working hard enough, many people might share that feeling. But Tino crossed lines with his players by getting physical.
Somewhat surprisingly, despite Martinez’s negative publicity last year, he says he got job offers from a few teams this offseason but decided to take the year off. If that’s the case, he must not have too bad of a reputation around MLB despite the Marlins fiasco.
Forearm bash to Hardball Talk