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Tino Martinez calls Marlins players he coached ‘soft’

Tino Martinez MarlinsNearly 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

Tino Martinez blew up after Derek Dietrich didn’t pick up balls?

Tino Martinez MarlinsTino Martinez resigned as hitting coach of the Miami Marlins on Sunday amid multiple reports that he was verbally and physically abusive towards the team’s players.

The strongest allegation against Martinez was that the former New York Yankees first baseman grabbed rookie seconde baseman Derek Dietrich by the neck. Martinez acknowledged a confrontation occurred between the two, but he said he grabbed Dietrich in the chest, not neck.

So what led to the incident?

According to the New York Post, Martinez told Dietrich to pick up the balls after a hitting session in the batting cage, and the rookie ignored the order. The Post’s Mike Puma says Martinez grabbed Dietrich around the neck to restrain him as he dismissively walked away.

Any time a story of a physical confrontation comes up, it’s important to hear both sides to understand what could have led someone to become physical. In this case, it seems like Martinez went a little too far. Not only did he get physical with Dietrich, but other players complained that Martinez tried intimidating them and verbally abused them. And then there was a report that Martinez challenged Casey Kotchman to a fight.

Getting rid of Martinez was probably way overdue.

Thanks to tipster David

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.

Tino Martinez accused of physically and verbally abusing Miami Marlins players

Tino-Martinez-MarlinsMiami 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