Marlins fire their hitting coach

   The Florida Marlins, who after Thursday's defeat to the visiting Atlanta Braves have lost eight straight, fired hitting coach John Mallee and replaced him with ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez, whose father is Hall of Famer Tony Perez.

What does the younger Perez, who joined the team Thursday, bring to the table besides being an on-air analyst for Baseball Tonight on ESPN and Béisbol Esta Noche on ESPN Deportes?

Well, he has managed in the Puerto Rico Baseball winter league. In the 2007-08 season he led the Leones de Ponce to the title and was manager of the year even though the Leones went 0-6 in the Caribbean Series that year in Mexicali, Mexico. Oh, and he's a main candidate to manage Puerto Rico in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Van Slyke tees off on Rasmus

Andy Van Slyke, a first-round pick of the Cardinals in 1979 who still lives in St. Louis, figures he's been around the block long enough to say what he wants. That's why few were surprised when he called in on a St. Louis radio show for which he is a regular contributor and then blasted Cardinals centerfielder Colby Rasmus.

"You couldn't make a highlight reel out of Colby's defense or his passion or the way he plays the game," Van Slyke said on 101 ESPN. "Does he put up numbers? Yeah. You know what? Numbers are something you do at the end of the year that you show some guy in some arbitration case."

To be fair, Rasmus has become known for not making plays that might have been made with a little more effort, or at least a better understanding of how to play. Last year, his lapses landed him in manager Tony La Russa's doghouse, to the point where he talked about being traded.

Still, the Cards can't be too unhappy with Rasmus - on Wednesday, they drafted his younger brother, catcher Casey Rasmus, in the 36th round.