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Guillen says players -- not hitting coach -- are to blame for offensive woes

     ST. PETERSBURG -- While the Marlins have been disappointing offensively, hitting coach Eduardo Perez does not appear to be in any danger of losing his job. Manager Ozzie Guillen was forceful in his defense of Perez, and the front office is not looking to make a change.

     “It’s funny how this game works,” Guillen said. “Nobody gives Eduardo credit when we were doing good. Now they’re going to (expletive) on him because we’re not hitting? That’s a bunch of (expletive). No, blame the players. They were good two weeks ago (with the) same hitting coach.”

     The Marlins rank 14th in runs scored in the National League, 13th in batting average, and 14th in hitting with runners in scoring position.

     Guillen acknowledged that poor hitting is the major reason the Marlins had lost nine of their past 10 games entering play on Saturday. They scored a total of only 17 runs in those 10 games.

    “You look at the numbers we’ve had the last couple of weeks, it’s ugly,” Guillen said. “Every number we have offensively is negative. That’s the reason I think we are where we are right now.”

    But Guillen was adament that Perez is not to blame, that he is putting in extra time working with the hitters going over scouting reports, examining video and hitting in the cages outside of of batting practice.

    “I fire my coaches,” Guillen said. “The only reason they’re going to get fired is if I see them not do what they’re supposed to do. If they don't work, I fire their (butt). This guy (Perez) has been working hard every day. He makes suggestions, tells (players) what he thinks. When the game starts, he cannot perform for them.”

   Guillen said the biggest problem is that hitters have been swinging at bad pitches.

   “The only reason they fail is because they swing at a lot of bad pitches,” Guillen said. “They’re not going to tell me they don’t because I (notice).”

   Said Logan Morrison, who is among a handful of Marlins who have struggled offensively: "I think at this level you should be able to fix yourself. It's good to have (a hitting coach) to help you notice something you don't see. But, for the most part, you should be able to help yourself."