Ex-Yankee Tino Martinez has been the hitting coach for the Miami Marlins in 2013, but has now officially stepped down from that position after players complained he was verbally and physically abusive. Team owner Jeffrey Loria originally defended Martinez and refused to accept his resignation before the story went public and the MLBPA put pressure on the team. Now John Pierson has stepped in as interim hitting coach.
According to rookie Derek Dietrich, Martinez grabbed him by the neck on one occasion and another player said he uses intimidation and that it's been a problem all season. Martinez claims he grabbed Dietrich by the jersey and did not believe he was being inappropriate at the time, but now sees that his players disagree:
"I want to apologize to the Marlins organization for my behavior," Martinez said (AP). "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."
"I just thought with some young players you needed to be a little firmer and try to get them on the right track," he said (AP). "I probably used some four-letter words. I thought I was doing the right thing. Obviously, I wasn't."
Tino is undecided about whether he will coach again at this time, but who knows if he'll even be given the chance again. Marlins manager Mike Redmond believed that Matinez's inexperience as a coach might have been to blame:
"I know going from a player to a coach, it's hard," Redmond said. "Part of the grind is learning how to deal with different situations with different players, different personalities - all that stuff is a challenge. Some people can do it. Some people can't."
It's sad to see Tino Martinez's career end up like this, especially when it looks like he thought he was doing the right thing. However, if a team complains about you, there must be a problem and maybe it's best to get him out now before something worse happens.