Pitching coach Don Cooper will manage White Sox’s last two games, gets contract extension

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Joey Cora was initially expected to manage the White Sox’s final two game following Ozzie Guillen’s departure last night, but now apparently Cora is joining Guillen with the Marlins and pitching coach Don Cooper will serve as interim manager.

Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports that first base coach Harold Baines will “assist” Cooper, who “is expected to stay with the Sox through next season.”

Cooper generally flies under the radar as one of the game’s best pitching coaches, so keeping him amid what will surely be a significant turnover of the coaching staff under whoever ends up replacing Guillen as full-time manager is a good move for the White Sox.

UPDATE: Scott Merkin of MLB.com reports that Cooper and Baines have both agreed to multi-year contract extensions, so they’ll be the holdovers on the coaching staff regardless of who the White Sox hire as their new manager.

The Marlins made an empty threat. Giancarlo Stanton made an empty promise.

Associated Press
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I covered the main press conference about Giancarlo Stanton earlier, but afterward he and his agents fanned out to various TV shows, radio shows and reporter scrums from which some new, fun things have spun out. Part of what they’ve talked about is silly and meaningless, part of it just meaningless.

Here’s the silly and meaningless, from a Marlins official, apparently, trying to bully Stanton into accepting either the Giants or the Cardinals trades despite the fact that he told them beforehand that he was not willing to go to either of those teams:

This is silly because it comes off like a threat. Like the worst possible thing that can happen to a guy is to stay with the very team that is making the threat. It’s like telling your wife that if she does not leave you, she’s stuck with you forever.

It’s meaningless too, in that Stanton has an opt-out clause after 2020. If the Marlins could not make a trade Stanton would approve, he’d simply collect close to $90 million and then leave at age 30. Oooh, don’t throw me into that briar patch, Mr. Jeter!

Not that Stanton’s people are offering statements of serious gravitas. His agent was asked about Stanton’s opt-out rights, which he retains even though he’s now with the Yankees:

That may very well be true! He just got here and everything is going great so far. It’s totally empty, of course, because anything can happen between now and the fall of 2020. If the big time free agents of the next two years sign for the sort of money that makes Stanton look underpaid, he’ll certainly opt-out, even if he wants to stay with the Yankees. Ask Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia how that works. The opt-out clause is pure, unadulterated leverage for a player and unless he totally craters over the next three seasons he’ll most certainly use it, regardless of present desires.

Which, hey, that’s how things work when a big trade or free agent signing happens. Everyone who has lost looks bad and everyone who won sounds happy. Then, later, the baseball happens.