08.20.13

The Miami Marlins : Deeply Conflicted Over Whether They’re Burying Or Defending Tino Martinez

Posted in Baseball at 5:27 pm by

Earlier this month, Tino Martinez lost his job as hitting coach of the Marlins after reports surfaced of his losing his temper with Miami’s younger players. On Tuesday, the Miami Herald’s Clark Spencer writes that one of those players might’ve hit a career roadblock, thanks to the notorious meddling of owner Jeffrey Loria.

IF Chris Valaika was one of several players to have a run-in with Martinez, who resigned last month when those verbal and physical altercations surfaced in the media. Martinez later told FoxSports.com that he became angry with Valaika — as well as others — when he refused to pick up baseballs in the batting cage earlier in the season.

Valaika, who has been on a hitting tear for Triple A New Orleans after spending time on the disabled list with a broken wrist, was the consensus choice of the front office and coaching staff to replace Polanco.

But Loria overruled his staff, blocking Valaika’s promotion, sources said.

Speculation within the organization is that Loria vetoed the move because of sentiment for Martinez, whom he hand-picked for the coaching job and wanted to remain in the position after the altercations with players first came to light late last month. As a result, the front office settled on IF Gil Velazquez to fill Polanco’s spot.

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