In another little embarrassment to the Miami Marlins, hitting coach Tino Martinez resigned over the weekend after allegations of using heavy-handed tactics on players.
So what exactly did Martinez do? Well, he spoke last night to Fox Sports and said he just got a little too outraged when players refused to pick up balls.
Martinez allegedly grabbed rookie Derek Dietrich by the jersey during a batting practice after the second baseman refused to help pick up balls.
"I go, 'Derek, help us pick the balls up,'" Martinez recalled. "He goes, 'Why, I didn't hit 'em.' I said, 'I don't give a s--- if you didn't hit 'em, help us pick the balls up.' He walked toward me, not angrily, and said, 'Hey, I didn't hit the balls, why should I pick 'em up?'
"I grabbed his jersey and said, 'Because you're f------- part of this team, pick the f------ balls up right now. Pick the f------ balls up. I'm tired of your s---.' I probably pushed him backwards. That was it."
Martinez admits that incident wasn't the first time he lost his temper over loose balls.
"One day I told Juan Pierre, 'One of these days, he's going to help us pick up the balls. He's a 27-year-old journeyman. You're a 15-year big leaguer. He will help us pick up the balls,'" Martinez recalled.
"So finally after about a month or so goes by, I decide I'm going to tell him something: 'Hey Chris [Valaika], help us pick up the balls.' And he goes, 'Why should I? I didn't hit 'em.' And I said, 'Pick up the balls, you're part of this team.' And he goes, 'But I didn't hit 'em.' So, I got in his face and I said, 'Pick up the f------ balls. You're part of this f------ team.' I got in his face and said it kind of angrily. And he picked up the balls."
Yes, apparently Martinez doesn't appreciate his players' failure to pick up balls. However, he probably should have been concentrating harder on his players hitting balls. Under Martinez's coaching, the Marlins have ranked last in all major hitting categories in the MLB so far this season.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.