Eduardo Perez joins Marlins staff
MIAMI -- Eduardo Perez is confident the Florida Marlins can have the best offense in baseball.
These are bold words coming from the former "Baseball Tonight" analyst and Cleveland Indians special assistant in his first day as the Marlins hitting coach.
"It can be the best in baseball," Perez told reporters before Thursday's game against the Atlanta Braves. "It really can. You look around and you see Hanley Ramirez where everybody just raves about him and his talent. We haven't seen it this year. We have seen it in the past and that's the one we have to see again. Mike Stanton, power. I want somebody else to tell me who has more power than him right now in baseball. You have a lot of speed. This offense can be really good."
The Marlins fired hitting coach John Mallee following their seventh consecutive loss Wednesday night. They are hitting .148 (8-for-54) with runners in scoring position during their current six-game homestand.
The organization started the season 18-9, the best start in franchise history. Since then, it is 13-20.
The Marlins rank ninth in the NL averaging 4.02 runs a game, and their .248 batting average also ranks ninth despite having young, talented players in Ramirez, Stanton, Chris Coghlan, Gaby Sanchez and Logan Morrison.
"There are so many good players here and right now it's all about having an attitude," Perez said. "They've got to get their attitude back. The attitude that we saw early on in the season is what they have to bring to the table now."
Perez, 41, played in the major leagues for 13 seasons with six clubs. He has managed in winter ball and coached in the World Baseball Classic for Team Puerto Rico. He had spent the last five years with ESPN.
"A lot of people just see me as a face with a lot of makeup on 'Baseball Tonight,' but (coaching) has definitely been a passion of mine," Perez said.
Perez is the son of Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Perez, who works in the Marlins front office as the special assistant to president.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press