Earlier this month, the Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley proposed White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper was the architect of Ozzie Guillen’s departure / Robin Ventura’s elevation to manager, a charge GM Kenny Williams angrily disputed. Just back from 16 days in Spain, newly appointed Marlins skipper Guillen seems to buy (most of) Cowley’s version of events, as quoted by the latter in today’s paper.
“Cooper needs to look in the mirror,’’ Guillen told the Sun-Times. “He didn’t back-stab me. I know who he is. He back-stabbed his fellow coaches, the guys he worked with for years. You got family? That’s fine. Everyone does. We all knew Coop was Kenny’s b—-.
“Look, Coop is not a good coach; he’s a great coach. But Coop is Coop. He doesn’t worry about anyone; he worries about himself. I stuck up for my coaches like a m———–.
“I told [the Sox] I want to keep my coaching staff, and I never lied to the media. I talked to Jerry Reinsdorf maybe five times [about extending the coaches’ contracts over the years]. The reason I was so comfortable with the Sox was the coaches. Let them sweat it out? Coop was Kenny’s guy, and my staff knew that. We all know what he really is.’’
Guillen also felt as if Cooper diminished the managerial seat he held for almost eight seasons when he was named the interim manager for the last two games of the season.
“That makes me sad and also made me aware as a person that someone you really like, really back up .?.?. you didn’t go through the process the right way,’’ Guillen said. “I saw Coop saying after I left [last month], ‘I can manage in the big leagues.’ That sounded like a statement like, ‘I’m better than Ozzie.’ I know I can never be a pitching coach, but when the games mean s— for two days, it’s easy.
“What I know is I never told Kenny, ‘Let them sweat.’ That’s not true.’’