Section 313, Seat No. 19: Victor Martinez would do best to keep his mouth shut

Communication is a two-way street. One cannot deny this. It is especially important for a new Major League manager to make as many connections to his veteran players as soon as possible once hired. By all accounts, Ron Gardenhire has done a very good job of taking on his new role as the Detroit Tigers manager. However, perennial pain-in-the-ass Victor Martinez didn’t mince words when he was asked about his first contact with the team’s new skipper — contact that as of the first day of Spring Training, still hadn’t been made.

According to Evan Woodbury, Gardenhire did try to reach out to the team’s DH this winter but didn’t leave a voicemail because the inbox was full. This is part one of that two-way street. As far as effort goes, Gardenhire did his job. However, Victor’s comment that, “he should have sent…a text,” just screams of an entitled, overpaid athlete.

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This is not Victor’s first instance of problem-causing for the club. Last season, he complained about the dimensions of Comerica Park, a park that is large but isn’t a death trap for hitters, according to Mike Petriello of MLB.com. This was a topic of discussion last season for Victor, who was having a down year, and it came across as a whiny, aging ball player that just wasn’t having a good season. Martinez was being paid as a clean-up hitting designated hitter and was performing like an eight-hole–at best– hitter last season. And, if he was so upset with the dimensions of the field, why the hell did he sign an extension to play half of his games in Comerica Park? Come on, Victor, just tell us how you really feel about playing in Detroit.

Then, in a dust-up with the Yankees, it was noticed that Victor had a heated exchange with Justin Verlander. I’m sorry, but at this moment Victor had moved from contributor to the team to a cancer inside the clubhouse. In this exchange, I’m taking Verlander one hundred percent of the time, and the Tigers would have too.

Then we come to Victor’s comments about Gardenhire. What good comes from this? What is the point of essentially calling out your new manager? Do you honestly believe that this is the most beneficial and best example you can set for young players? But the big question the Tigers’ brass should be asking is this: when is enough enough?

It seems like Victor has been unhappy in the Old English D for a while. Whatever his reason is, he should truly re-evaluate his standing. He is lucky and should feel honored to wear that D on his chest. But, yet, he still causes problems. If the Tigers were ever going to send a message that this will not be tolerated, this is the year to do it. It’s not like they’ll miss his production. All it will cost them is $18 million and give Martinez the out he’s clearly looking for — something he seems to have been positioning for all along.