Tino Martinez resigned as the Miami Marlins’ hitting coach hours after complaints by players that he verbally abused them became public.
In one instance, Martinez acknowledged he angrily grabbed a player.
Martinez was in his first year as a professional coach this year. He sat in the dugout during Sunday’s 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates, then met with Marlins officials and resigned.
“I want to apologize to the Marlins organization for my behavior,” Martinez said. “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.”
Martinez said he once touched a player in anger, grabbing rookie Derek Dietrich by the jersey in the batting cage early this season. Dietrich, demoted last Monday to Double-A Jacksonville, was among the players to complain.
Martinez said he offered to resign earlier, but team owner Jeffrey Loria wanted him to stay on the job. When the complaints by players became public in a story Sunday by the Miami Herald, Martinez became certain he should resign.
“It has been building for a few days,” he said. “I didn’t know this was going to come out publicly. When this came out, I thought it was the right thing to do.”
Marlins minor league field coordinator John Pierson will become interim hitting coach.
The young Marlins rank last in the majors in runs, home runs, batting and slugging, and the 45-year-old Martinez said he became frustrated as players struggled.