Don Cooper managed the White Sox’s final game following Ozzie Guillen’s departure and signed a multi-year contract extension to remain Chicago’s pitching coach, but apparently Guillen and Cooper aren’t exactly on good terms.
Guillen, who just returned from a two-week vacation in Spain and will join the “Baseball Tonight” crew for World Series analysis, had plenty of harsh words after his longtime pitching coach suggested Guillen wasn’t pushing general manager Ken Williams to sign his coaching staff beyond 2011.
Here’s what Guillen told Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times:
Cooper needs to look in the mirror. 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*****f*****.
Guillen feels that Cooper went behind his back to negotiate a contract extension when there was still some chance of Guillen remaining the White Sox’s manager. Here are some more Guillen gems:
Look, those guys didn’t want me. I didn’t leave them. They didn’t want me back, and I understand their point. But don’t tell me I left here. Since last year, this was about integrity, it was about loyalty, it was about do they want me here. Let me say it my way: The Sox were saying, “Yes, we want to f*** you, but we don’t want to marry you.”
And for what it’s worth, Guillen thinks the White Sox did well hiring Robin Ventura as his replacement, saying “they picked the right guy” and “I think they have a great man.”
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.