Tino Martinez, who won four World Series titles as first baseman for the Yankees, has resigned as hitting coach for the Miami Marlins after a player told the team that Martinez flew into a tirade and grabbed him by the neck.
The Miami Herald is reporting that team owner Jeffrey Loria has decvlined Martinez’s resignation, “at least for now.” But the Associated Press is reporting that, although Loria urged Martinez not to resign, as soon as the story went public the resignation became official.
According to two sources, the agent for rookie second baseman Derek Dietrich, who was demoted last week to the minors, contacted team officials about the alleged incident, which occurred several months ago.
Dietrich’s agent, David Meter, would neither confirm nor deny that the incident took place.
But this wasn’t an isolated incident, apparently, according to multiple sources.
One Marlins player, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity, said Martinez has been verbally abusive to players on a number of occasions since the start of spring training in February. A few players have complained to Redmond about Martinez’s behavior.
“It’s all shocked everybody,” the player said. “He uses intimidation. It’s been a problem since day one.”
According to sources who have witnessed Martinez’s profanity-laced eruptions, other players who have been attacked verbally by Martinez include outfielder Justin Ruggiano, infielder Chris Valaika and minor-league infielder Matt Downs. Another source said the list of players is much larger than that.
Martinez, who was a broadcaster for the Yankees on the YES Network last season, was in his first season as a coach. He was chosen for the job by Loria personally.
“I want to apologize to the Marlins organization for my behavior,” Martinez said. “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.”
Miami Marlins hitting coach resigns over abusive behavior [Miami Herald]
Amid allegations, Tino Martinez quits as Marlins coach [Associated Press]