A contract extension for White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper figures to become official on Tuesday afternoon with the announcement of a new multi-year deal that will precede a two-game stint as manager in place of Ozzie Guillen.
Cooper is finishing his ninth full season and 10th overall as Chicago’s pitching coach, having begun the task on July 22, 2002. He has worked under managers Jerry Manuel and Guillen, and soon will be practicing his craft for a third — whomever is hired during the offseason to replace Guillen.
With Guillen released from his contract after Monday’s 4-3 victory over the Blue Jays to pursue other opportunities and bench coach Joey Cora apparently heading to the Marlins with Guillen, Cooper will run the show over the final two days of the 2011 season as the team’s interim manager.
CSN reports first base coach Harold Baines will get a multi-year deal too, but third base coach Jeff Cox and hitting coach Greg Walker won’t get new deals.
UPDATE: The extension is for 4 years:
Of Cooper, Williams said, “Well, the pitching has been as consistent over the last decade, and that’s a testament to our scouting department, to our player development department, to Don Cooper, directly in his direction. It’s something that’s well deserved and I’m happy, thrilled to know that he’s going to be on board here for the next four years.”
Kenny wonders who’s Johnny Damon’s agent. Marc Teahen might wear #23. Bobby Jenks was offered a multi-year deal before he signed his arbitration contract. Kenny on Jordan Danks and Jared Michell: “this is 2010 and we have to win … They got to wait.” Ozzie blamed Kenny for the 2008 team. Jeff Cox: “There’s no ‘i’ in team, but there are 2 in ‘idiot.’” Steve Stone to Greg Walker: “Can you make a guy who can’t hit, hit?” “Um, no.” Rick Hahn: [Gordon] Beckham has changed perception about length of development time. Doug Laumann: [Dayan] Viciedo “a man among boys,” probably will end up @ 1B. Rick Hahn: We’re re-investing in Latin American scouting infrastructure.
- Gordon Beckham will stay at the 2nd post of the batting order.
- More on the Opening Day starter.
- Matt Thornton takes over Merkin’s mailbag.
- SoxFest news: Bobby Jenks looks good, Ozzie Guillen is a jackass, Carlos Quentin wasn’t there, J.J. Putz is recovering, A.J. Pierzynski went to Africa. From Merkin and Reifert: Reifert is taking questions for Kenny and Ozzie and former Sox greats. Kenny is proud for Bobby. The Go-Go Sox are coming back says Ozzie. Hawk likes his kindle. Juan Pierre is a heavy hitter. Gonzales and Cowley: Peavy can’t afford pants. Ozzie wants Alexei to eat Vizquel’s brain. More SoxFest here.
- Kenny on Jared Mitchell: it’ll be a “little while” till he reaches majors.
- Alexei Ramirez says Dayan Viciedo looks incredible. I hope he has lots of Cuban pride.
- J.J. Putz is looking for an intro song suggestions.
- Scot Gregor is taking questions you want him to ask at Sox Spring Training.
- Gordon Beckham and Jeff Cox were working the phones. Beltin’ Bill Melton too.
- Jon Heyman says “Andruw Jones is said to be in the best shape he’s been in for a decade.”
Beckham on his 9th inning baserunning error:
“That’s me being an idiot,” said Beckham with a sheepish smile. “It will happen every once in a while — hopefully, not for the rest of the year.” Derek Jeter actually deserved a second assist on the double play. Beckham counts the Yankees’ shortstop as one of the players he truly respected growing up, so he started talking to Jeter as he wandered away from the base. “[I] just kind of lost track and didn’t realize I was still playing a baseball game,” Beckham said. “I blame the third-base coach [Jeff Cox] for that one,” said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, pausing for a laugh. “The third-base coach should let him know how many outs there were.” Justice came down swiftly upon Beckham, who will be fined in kangaroo court. He will also have to buy a gift for backup catcher Ramon Castro, who was on deck to pinch-hit for Jim Thome. “Apparently, I cost him an at-bat, so I’m going to be running around town getting gifts for everybody,” Beckham said. “I’m embarrassed, but we’re good.”