Jack McKeon cursed out players with regularity, often in full view of fans. Joe Girardi grabbed pitcher Scott Olsen by his jersey once and pinned him against the dugout wall during a game.
Neither former Marlins manager lost his job for those actions.
But Marlins hitting coach Tino Martinez resigned under pressure Sunday after it was revealed publicly he grabbed rookie second baseman Derek Dietrich in an angry confrontation back in early May.
“The culture has definitely changed,” said former major leaguer Jeff Conine. “It’s just a different era now.”
Martinez “crossed the line” by making contact with Dietrich, according to Marlins players and coaches. While some players complained that Martinez had a troubling anger issue that was unpredictable -- and Martinez acknowledged in the aftermath that he was probably guilty of “overreacting” with players at times -- it was grabbing Dietrich by the jersey that landed him in serious trouble.
“I don’t know if Jack ever crossed that line,” said Marlins manager Mike Redmond, who played for the feisty McKeon on the 2003 World Series team. “I think it’s one thing to scream at a guy and get in his face, but to touch a guy is....I would say that’s probably fair to say that that’s the line.”
Veteran infielder Greg Dobbs said he has had coaches and managers “get in my dish plenty of times” over the course of his baseball career.
“That’s part of it,” Dobbs said “That’s part of the game.”
But Dobbs said Dietrich clearly felt that Martinez went too far by grabbing him.
“He (Dietrich) felt that personally crossed his line, his boundary,” Dobbs said. “He has that right. Obviously (the team agreed with Dietrich) because they accepted his resignation.
“It’s a tough deal. I feel bad for Tino in a sense because he had this great opportunity here. I had nothing but great conversations and great interactions with him. But, in the same breath, I think he would tell you, ‘I’m an adult and I should have acted better.’ And I’m sure he’s disappointed in his actions, as I am -- as is everybody else here.”
After spending his entire baseball career as a player and coach in the minors, 59-year-old John Pierson finally reached the majors on Monday -- as the Marlins’ interim hitting coach.
“Totally excited and, honestly, a little overwhelmed right now,” said Pierson, who had been serving as the Marlins’ minor league field coordinator.
Pierson said his “passion has always been hitting” and he intends to keep things simple when working with the Marlins’ hitters.
“I’m not presumptuous to come in here and start fiddling around,” Pierson said. “What I don’t want to do, is I want to be careful and not give them too much. I’m a big believer in keeping things simple, because I don’t want them thinking too much. I want them to go out competing.”
Kevin Slowey may not return to the mound this season.
Slowey was diagnosed Monday with a strained right flexor that will require four to six weeks of rest.
“The only timeline I definitively know is the next four weeks is going to be lost to recovery,” Slowey said.
-- Andrew Heaney, the Marlins’ first-round draft pick in 2012, was promoted Monday and is down to make his first start for Double A Jacksonville on Thursday. Heaney did not give up a run over his final 27 innings at Single A Jupiter.
-- Starting pitcher Jose Fernandez and closer Steve Cishek were named co-winners of National League Player of the Week on Monday.