Despite the fact that the Miami Marlins have posted the best record in the NL East since May 31, owner Jeffrey Loria and the Marlins organization have still found ways to gain negative publicity.
Following Sunday afternoon's victory over the Pirates, hitting coach Tino Martinez resigned after several reports indicated he yanked second baseman Derek Dietrich by the neck chain and "used intimidation which has been a problem since day one," an unnamed source told The Miami Herald.
Martinez was hired directly by Loria after he had decided he wanted Mike Redmond to lead the youthful Marlins. Several reports indicated that Loria had offered Martinez the same position years earlier, though at that point he declined.
Before being hired by Miami, Martinez served as the minor league hitting coordinator for the New York Yankees.
Heading into the season, Martinez had to have been aware that there were going to be offensive struggles. Logan Morrison and Giancarlo Stanton, two of the Marlins' biggest offensive threats, began the year on the disabled list, and several of Miami's established hitters were traded to Toronto in November.
Miami is the lowest scoring MLB team to this point. Though the offense appeared to be consistent for much of June and to this point in July, the Marlins had a hard time manufacturing runs throughout April and May.
Heading into the start of the season, Martinez admitted he was aware that there would be growing pains. Witnessing his hitters struggle to hit with runners in scoring position clearly got to Martinez's head.
In recent years, Miami has had trouble maintaing a single hitting coach. Much of that can be attributed to managerial instability.
Martinez said he offered to resign earlier, but team owner Jeffrey Loria wanted him to stay on the job. When the complaints by players became public in a story Sunday by the Miami Herald, Martinez became certain he should resign. "It has been building for a few days," he said. "I didn't know this was going to come out publicly. When this came out, I thought it was the right thing to do."
Martinez, 45, had never coached at the MLB level prior to this year. He was a hand-picked hire by Loria.
The Marlins have scored the fewest runs in baseball and labored through a 37-inning scoreless stretch. According to the player, part of the reason for the offensive futility was a rift between the players and Martinez.
As if the Miami Marlins needed anymore negative publicity, they sure have it here. Of course there's still a lot information that has to come out, but there was obviously a lot of smoke. The fact that Martinez was willing to step down so quickly might be telling in itself, and if everything alleged is true, this would be a very disappointing exit for a player turned coach who always came across as soft spoken while maintaining a nice guy reputation for 16 major league seasons.
Marlins hitting coach Tino Martinez resigned Sunday amid allegations he abused a player according to the Associated Press. "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."
Tino Martinez has resigned as the Miami Marlins' hitting coach after players complained he verbally abused them. Martinez was in his first year as a professional coach. He met with Marlins officials after Sunday's win over the Pittsburgh Pirates and resigned.
#marlins hitting coach tino Martinez has resigned— clarkspencer (@clarkspencer) July 28, 2013
Marlins announce John Pierson will be interim hitting coach. Tino Martinez resigned today...— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) July 28, 2013
Per @JCRMarlinsBeat, Tino Martinez and Mike Redmond "recently engaged in a verbal altercation" ... Tino was ownership's hire, not Redmond's— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) July 28, 2013
Tino Martinez told me a couple months ago as hitting coach it felt like he made 27 outs himself every night. Sounds like it got to him.— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) July 28, 2013
Miami #Marlins announce John Pierson will be interim hitting coach, after Tino Martinez resigned today amid "choking" and "abusing" players.— Brandon Benson (@TheBTrain10) July 28, 2013