Miami, FL: Earlier this week, Miami Marlins hitting coach Tino Martinez resigned from the team after complaints by players of Martinez verbally and physically abusing them became public. Now, after a public statement by Martinez himself, we have learned why: Tino Martinez expects mediocre baseball players to pick up balls during batting practice instead of hiring a crew or, better yet, picking up all the balls himself while the players rest their tired, widdle shoulders.
Clearly, a major league baseball player has every right to spurn a team activity such picking up baseballs. What if he got hurt while he bent over to pick up one of those baseballs? How would his blistering .214 batting average possibly be able to keep the Marlins in last place in the NL East then?
It may be that Tino Martinez resigned not just because he made professional baseball players cry by yelling at them, but also other abusive activities such as:
- Not wiping players’ asses after they went poopy
- Not clearing away players’ dishes after they were done with num-nums during spring training
- Not addressing players as, “Sir,” “Captain,” “Hall of Famer,” or “The Greatest Damned Baseball Player I Ever Did See” like folks from home used to call them
- Refusing to tell the players bed-time stories at night during road trips
- Not tap-dancing when they snapped their fingers
Some columnists have resorted to jeering Martinez for name-dropping in order to vindicate his actions:
“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. “You help pick the balls up, and the next guy hits. Whoever is hanging around helps pick the balls up. It’s standard.”
Yes, while it may seem like a statement where Martinez is just trying to say how great he and the Yankees were all those years ago, there is a message in the anecdote. Bernie Williams, Paul O’Neill, and Tino Martinez won four World Series together while on the New York Yankees, and they were always picking up balls during soft-toss drills. The Marlins players in question, Justin Ruggiano, Chris Valaika, and Derek Dietrich, have as many World Series championships as I have fingers on my left nut-sack. In case there is any question, no, I do not have any fingers on my left nut-sack. Yes, Justin Ruggiano did play in the 2008 World Series with the Tampa Bay Rays. His All-Star stats that would defend his prima donna antics was a .197 batting average in 76 regular season at-bats.
To the players’ credit, they did eventually pick up those balls, but I doubt it was with grace and humility. It was probably more like when Paul Rudd (playing the character Andy) had to clean up after himself in Wet Hot American Summer.