Former Miami Marlins hitting coach Tino Martinez gives his version of story
07/31/2013 12:01 AM
09/08/2014 6:49 PM
Tino Martinez snapped and threw tantrums when Marlins players didn’t pick up baseballs.
That’s the gist of a Foxsports.com story in which Martinez gave his version of events that led to his resignation as Marlins hitting coach Sunday.
“Do you realize I’m basically out of baseball because a couple of players didn’t pick up balls in the cage when I asked them to?” Martinez was quoted as saying.
Martinez said his angry flare-ups with Justin Ruggiano, Chris Valaika and Derek Dietrich started because they balked at picking up baseballs in the batting cage.
But Ruggiano, the only one of the three mentioned by Martinez who is still with the team, disputed that claim.
“Tino and I had an incident in the batting cage on Opening Day that had nothing to do with picking up baseballs,” Ruggiano said. “I’ve never had an issue picking up baseballs, or picking up [helping] guys who need to run off to do other things. After that incident, we had no other problems.”
Martinez acknowledged in the story that he also challenged veteran first baseman Casey Kotchman to a fight when he questioned his hamstring injury (“That’s probably one I regret. I shouldn’t have done that,” Martinez said in the story) and became angry with Matt Downs in spring training when the infielder was receiving help from another hitting coach.
Martinez also said that in grabbing Dietrich’s jersey in the only known physical confrontation he had with a player, he “probably pushed him backwards” as well.
Never mind Giancarlo Stanton. The Marlins are not particularly interested in dealing any player — from Stanton to reliever Chad Qualls to pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs — before Wednesday’s 4 p.m. nonwaiver trade deadline, apparently.
“They’re telling us they want to stand pat,” one major-league scout said. “And we’ve asked on everyone.”
Unless they’re blown away by an offer, in other words, it appears that the Marlins will be sitting chilly Wednesday, preferring instead to win as many games as possible before the end of the season with players they have now.
They could always try to move a player in August, when a player must first clear waivers.
Yelich leads off
Christian Yelich moved into the leadoff spot Tuesday. Whether that remains his position in the lineup long-term remains to be seen.
Yelich often hit first 1 hole this season for Double A Jacksonville, but said he feels comfortable “hitting anywhere in the lineup.”
Adeiny Hechavarria, who had been hitting in the leadoff spot, moved down to the No. 2 hole, in front of Stanton.
“Maybe that’ll give Hech a few more pitches to hit,” manager Mike Redmond said. “Hech has done a nice job up there, but he’s had a few games where it looks like he might be grinding a little bit. I really see Hech in the No. 2 hole, a guy who can hit a fastball. That’s where I kind of envision him down the road.”
COMING UP• Wednesday: Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez (1-1, 2.64 ERA) vs. New York Mets RHP Jenrry Mejia (1-0, 0.00), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Thursday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (2-6, 4.67) vs. New York Mets RHP Matt Harvey (8-2, 2.11), 12:40 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Scouting report: Alvarez has not allowed a run over his past two starts, which have encompassed 13 innings. He lost to the Mets in 2012 as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, allowing six runs on nine hits over five innings.