Miami Marlins Hitting Coach Tino Martinez Resigns Over Abuse Allegations

Tino Martinez got a little too personal with his players, and now he is out of a job. The Miami Marlins hitting coach quit the team yesterday following a Miami Herald report that he verbally abused players in a ball club that ranks last in the majors in runs, home runs, batting, and slugging. The Marlins recently endured a 37-inning stretch without scoring a run.

But he quit only because the allegations became public. Team owner Jeffrey Loria nixed an earlier attempt by Martinez to resign, according to ESPN. "It has been building for a few days," Martinez told the cable network. "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 -- a former player and four-time World Series champion -- was in his first year as a professional coach. He resigned following the Marlins' 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates Sunday night. Herald baseball writer Clark Spencer reported that Martinez "erupted over seemingly minor issues that didn't merit such anger." Players who felt his wrath included outfielder Justin Ruggiano, first baseman Casey Kotchman, infielder Chris Valaika, and minor-league infielder Matt Downs, among others. Martinez also allegedly grabbed rookie Derek Dietrich by the jersey in the batting cage in early May on only the second baseman's fifth day in the majors.

Dietrich, demoted last Monday to Double-A Jacksonville, was among the players to complain to Marlins manager Mike Redmond about Martinez's behavior during the the season. When he announced his resignation, Martinez admitted his heavy-handed tactics didn't work to motivate players.

"I want to apologize to the Marlins organization for my behavior," Martinez said during his resignation. "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."

Marlins minor-league field coordinator John Pierson will become interim hitting coach.

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Francisco Alvarado was born in Nicaragua and grew up in Miami, giving him unique insight into the Magic City and all its dark corners. An investigative reporter with a knack for uncovering corruption, Alvarado made his bones as a staff writer at Miami New Times and remains in dogged pursuit of the next juicy story.