Tino Martinez recently resigned from his position as Marlins' hitting coach after it was reported that had abused some of his players. Despite willingly leaving the team, Martinez has decided that he's not going to take these allegations laying down. No, he's going to set the record straight—by reminding us that he only abused his players because he played with Paul O'Neill and Derek Jeter, goddammit.
Martinez tells Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal that the incidents were sparked when a few Marlins players failed to pick up balls after a batting practice drill. Here's Martinez explaining himself:
“If Bernie Williams is hitting in front of me and I’m waiting with Paul O’Neill or whoever, there are no questions asked,” said Martinez, who played 16 years in the majors and won four World Series with the Yankees. “You help pick the balls up, and the next guy hits. Whoever is hanging around helps pick the balls up. It's standard.”
If Bernie Williams and Paul O’Neill and Derek Jeter can pick balls up for everyone else, so can this guy here who has no time in the big leagues—that’s what was in my mind,” Martinez said. “That’s what burned me up a little bit on the days they didn’t do that. And it went on for days before I even said something."
Hey, did you know that Tino Martinez played with Paul O'Neill and Derek Jeter, and that they taught Martinez how to play the game the right way? Did you know that? Good, because Tino Martinez would really like you to know that.
Aside from Martinez trying to excuse his actions by painting himself as a defender of sacred baseball etiquette, the funniest thing about his explanation is just how many times he brushes off moments in which he acts like an absolute lunatic as one-time outliers. (Expletives, incidentally, were deleted in the original.)
“So finally after about a month or so goes by, I decide I’m going to tell him something: ‘Hey Chris, help us pick up the balls.’ And he goes, ‘Why should I? I didn’t hit ‘em.’ And I said, ‘Pick up the balls, you’re part of this team.’ And he goes, ‘But I didn’t hit ‘em.’ So, I got in his face and I said, ‘Pick up the fucking balls. You’re part of this fucking team.’ I got in his face and said it kind of angrily. And he picked up the balls.”
I grabbed his jersey and said, ‘Because you’re fucking part of this team, pick the fucking balls up right now. Pick the fucking balls up. I’m tired of your shit.’ I probably pushed him backwards. That was it.”
“I got in his face. There was no contact. I got in his face and told him he needed to change; he had one year in the big leagues, and he shouldn’t treat people like that. And I went on and on and on, probably dropped a few F-bombs. And that was it — a one-day deal there.”
The Sun-Sentinel also reported that Martinez challenged first baseman Casey Kotchman to a fight. Martinez did not directly address that claim but took responsibility for the disagreement.
“That’s probably the only one I regret—he’s a good guy,” Martinez said. “I questioned his injury (a strained left hamstring that Kotchman suffered on April 5). I shouldn’t have done that. I felt bad about doing that.”
Hey, Tino Martinez. If Derek Jeter and Paul O'Neill were with you right now, they'd probably tell you to chill out.