« Slowey heads to DL with right forearm discomfort | Main | Report: Tino angered by players who didn't pick up baseballs »

Did Tino Martinez "cross the line?"

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.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


The players are overpaid pampered babies,that are coddled and protected by their Union.


How would you know?

Davie fan

Totally agree with Dobbs. It is part of the game. Girardi grabbed Olsen in front of TV cameras and what happened? From that moment on, Olsen started to pitch better. Dietrich had the right to complain, but he is nothing but a cry baby


Granted its a much different office setting than the ballfield but physical confrontation is one of a select few actions that will get an individual canned at my workplace. Porn, industrial sabotage and lying about hrs worked (stealing) being the other sure fire ones.

Flav C.

There is a big difference between Girardi and Tino's actions: Olsen was a punk who had already got into fights with Randy Messenger, Miguel Cabrera, to name a few. That particular day of the situation with Girardi, Olsen was complaining and getting into stupid arguments with the umpire because of his warm-up time. Then Girardi grabbed him by the jersey to lecture him about his actions and lack of focus.

Tino was letting his own frustrations getting in the way of his job as a coach, and was being extremely irrational with young players who were frustrated themselves with their performance.

One of the reasons ex-successful major league hitters are not successful as hitting or pitching coaches is the lack of inter-personal skills and not being able to handle the pressure of the everyday grinding that the position requires. They've been there before as players and this pressure starts to pile up all over again.

You will see that from all the hitting coaches in the major league, less than a handful was actually a successful former major league hitter. More than 90% had very little playing time in the majors.

Stan M

How many escaped from the asylum? We have a new plague of nut cases polluting this blog. Get rid of them if possible, Clark. Watched game with NY announcers. They were very complimentary of our club's recent moves and felt the big trade was a disaster for Toronto. As the post game tease was shown, one of commentators said Redmond might have blown game with a move in the 6th inning. I missed that inning. Does anyone know what happened? Last I looked, Nicolino had been promoted to AA and was clobbered in 2 starts. Moran isn't hitting at all after that first HR. Dietrich was 0 for 10 returning to AA. Jay Jackson was hit hard in his second AAA start but Brian Flynn and Conley have both looked good. Gallaway was promoted over Keys to AA ball. I don't get it. Left him off my prospect list for this...13 walks and 75 Ks. The more I see of Marisnick in CF, the more I like him.

Flav C.


I had mentioned Galloway as a good player before. Forget a little bit these stats. He is a very dynamic player, probably one of the fastest base-runners I've seen in the minors over the last 2-3 seasons. He turns singles into doubles very easily with his speed, has more pop than Keys, steals tons of bases, and is a cleaner and more prolific outfielder. Also, he is older, so maybe the organization saw an opportunity to see what he's got. He hit a HR tonight.

Keys will be called up soon, don't worry. He is the perfect lead-off player.

Now, I was really surprised when I went to watch the Hammerheads last week against the Tampa Yankees, and saw Colby Suggs on the mound as relieve pitcher.

Suggs is the Marlins 2nd round pick of this year and went meteorically from rookie level to A+. I was shocked. Keep an eye on him.

Marlin Fan

Stan I was at the game . Turner gets the first out in the 7th , then he is taken out for Dunn( I think righty/lefty nonsense ) who gives up two runs followed by Ramos who gives up another . Turner didn't have his best stuff and was behind gutters but had settled down . Why even let him start the inning if your going to take him out after one batter , no one on base , and a pitch count in the upper 90,s ??? Let him finish the inning .

Willie Mays Hayes

Tino resigned for choking...Lomo should resign as the clean-up hitter for choking...batting fourth W/RISP-154BA.395OPS..ZERO x-base hits..OHR's...3RBI's. No team can win with a chokin clean-up hitter like Lomo.

Sunny Dee

If you can't motivate players without putting your hands on them, you are not a very good coach. Assuming he put his hands on Dietrich, Martinez crossed the line. He's lucky Dietrich (or anyone else) didn't fight back.

Stan M

Thanks, Marlin Fan. Sounds like Turner should have stayed till he put someone on.
Flav, I well remember your evaluation of Galloway and it appears that FO agrees with you. That walk/K ratio does bother me as an "old school guy". I really liked Dietrich, but Martinez interview with Rosenthal (see below) lessened my opinion of him. Was quite frankly shocked by attitude of Valaika and Ruggiano as well. He should have fought back or shut up. Am still fond of Lucas, but ultimately, this team needs Marisnick hitting behind LoMo.


Flav C.


This is a good article and gives us a good perspective from Tino's point of view, his version of the accounts. The truth is until we hear from all the parties involved, we won't know what is really happening.

I still think there is a problem much bigger than this behavioral situation. Probably more related to the Organization.

John Mallee was a great hitting coach and well-liked by the younger players (Stanton, Coghlan, LoMo, Gaby). However, Hanley was not too fond of him, specially because Mallee was giving him some tips about his leg kick since spring training and Hanley was tired of him. It didn't matter that Hanley was hitting a sub-.200 at the time. So, there was already a clash between the prima-donna and the young newcomers. It ended up with Mallee being fired, upsetting the young guys, but that made Hanley very happy, and guess what: he finally changed his leg-kick and improved his hitting.

Then came Ed Perez, who could not do much more because the train was already out of the tracks. It was clear he was just warming the seat for the next guy.

Now comes Tino and faces a behavioral situation between him and the players.

In the middle of all these things, you don't see the organization taking tougher actions to show that all the players and coaches are part of a winning culture.

It seems like nobody there really respects the current organizational culture (or lack of).

As far as Dietrich, I'm quite sure he didn't want to move forward with that situation, but unfortunately there is this plague called "agents" who probably kept buzzing in Dietrich's ear and telling him what he should do.

Marlins fan

@PussiesGalore...after reading the Fox story ,you are correct

Stan M

Flav, as usual, an excellent analysis. From my point of view, this is at least the second time that Redmond didn't stand up forcefully. I can't picture Gerardi taking that crap and not backing up his coach way in the beginning. If Tino was out of line, where was Redmond pulling him back. You are probably right about Dietrich's agent, but then why did he cry to him in the first place. It certainly does appear that there is a laissez faire attitude from the top down. My big question about all of this would be why did the manager and other coaches leave Tino out there to swing in the breeze? I think there is a great deal still to come from this episode and it might be to the good. I wonder if Tino was making a lot more money than the other coaches and also if Redmond was looking at him as his possible replacement.

lee stoops

Don't know whose individual feelings may have been hurt by Tino ... but holy smokes .. nobody on the team was hitting a lick! Can't even lay down bunts! That's the most important reason to get a new hitting coach as far as I'm concerned.

The comments to this entry are closed.