After agreeing to part ways with manager Rick Renteria this morning, GM Rick Hahn spoke to the media, announcing further changes. The White Sox have made the decision to move on from long-time pitching coach Don Cooper, per MLB.com’s Scott Merkin and others (via Twitter). Cooper has been the pitching coach for parts of 19 seasons with the White Sox, beginning in July of 2002.
Cooper first joined the White Sox in 1988, giving him a remarkable 32 years with the organization. He was one of the longest-tenured pitching coaches in the major leagues. He was not only the pitching coach for 4 different White Sox skippers, but he actually became the manager himself for a short time at the end of the 2011 season when Ozzie Guillen was let go. Cooper then went back to his pitching coach responsibilities when Robin Ventura took over starting the 2012 season.
In recent years, Cooper has overseen the development of ace Lucas Giolito, as well as the ushering of many young arms to the major leagues. As a staff, the White Sox ranked 6th in the majors with a 3.81 ERA in 2020, but just 18th with a 8.93 K/9, and 17th with 3.71 BB/9. The change may be as much about allowing a new manager to weigh in on coaching decisions as it is about anything particular with Cooper, especially given comments from Hahn suggesting they are looking for new voices from outside the organization.
Friendly Illinois Brethren
About time. I think they only kept him there spite Dogbone.
@Friendly Illinois Brethren
Good thing Jerry’s still around. Dogbone will really be beating that dead horse now.
Gonna miss Coop!
Why? Days were over 10 years ago.
‘Coop’, was nothing but a spy, for Reinsdorf. They wouldn’t have made the playoffs this year, if the format hadn’t been expanded. How he survived 15 years of loosing baseball is surprising.
Wrong, The White Sox woud have been a wild card team under the regular playoff rules.
I am actually shocked by this move.
Yeah – interested to hear more about this one. Some good stuff happening in the bullpen, but maybe not the development they were hoping for from guys like Lopez and Cease?
Coop has always been a love him or hate him coach. Some players thrive under him and others crash and burn. It is just how it is with coaching. more surprised to see if he actually leaves the organization completely or if they bring him back for some other role.
I’m not. Coop has never embraced new techniques. This includes refusing to use an opener.
People complaining about the playoffs should be more upset with Coop, because he was running the staff at the end of the day.
This was long overdue.
To ‘Whiff’, I accept your apology’, lol.
ok, well played, ha ha. Although i can see a change of direction for sake of change, the bullpen development was still commendable and Cooper had a nice 2020. Perfect, no. But absolutely solid.
He can go off and join Leo Mazzone and Ray Searage as pitching coaches the media anointed as legends, only to be fired. It happens to them all.
I’m curious as to what Searage is up to now, if anyone knows. It was time for him to live on when he was let go but overall he had a pretty good track record with the Bucs.
*time for him to move on
Well and hopefully live on…although the way 2020 is going…
Wow. I’m definitely not complaining, he’s outlived his usefulness. I’m just surprised he’s leaving. I didn’t think this time would ever come.
As I was a little surprised with Ricky parting ways, even though he deserved to get the ax (especially with his handling of the P’s in the playoffs), I am very surprised (pleasantly, of course) that Coop’s gone. Coop was fine 10 to 15 years ago, definitely not now.
In looking back , he has been in a ” I don’t care mode ” for quite sometime. I don’t see any pitcher saying that Cooper has helped him, in ways of making adjustments, teaching these younger guys ideas, examples, etc. I used to be a huge admirer of Coop, but seen nothing, heard nothing from any of them. An example would be , Cease, whose great fastball has zero movement and you just can’t let talent go on without someone taking him to their reigns. I think good , old Don got lazy and fat
Both no brainer moves today. Next step interview a bunch of intelligent managerial options that have zero ties to the WSox. No Ozzie or Alomar Jr. It is a very attractive job to interest the best of the best. Need complete outsider perspective. Strong manager with offseason personnel input can also dissuade Hahn from his love of washed up sluggers and worn out set-up BP arms.
Hahn said Jerry already called Ozzie to tell him he won’t be considered.
I’m hoping for Bochy.
That would be a dream scenario!
Great move. The game had long since pased him by.
BTW-Cooper did not “oversee the development” of Giolito. Giolito turned the corner after getting help from his old HS coach, who is now with the Giants.
Cooper is also very involved in the in-game ‘pen management. A long term issue for the Sox.
Spot on. I never understood the love for him
The love comes from those who live in the past or don’t understand the ways the game has changed. (at one time his methods were effective)
They’re the same people who want Ozzie back, or Frank Thomas, or AJ Pierzynski.
The Giolito situation was proof Coop was no longer fit for the job. The homers and Kool-Aid drinkers were using the excuse the pitchers weren’t listening to his “wisdom”, but when Giolito came out with that, it took away what little credibility Coop had left and proved that Coop was just along for the ride.
Coop is one of the best pitching coaches in MLB. This is an odd move, curious to see who they’ll replace him with
Wierd. Team makes the post season and they clean house.. My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
I think this is about two things for each of them. For both, it was the terrible management during the playoffs. For Rick, it was also poor decision-making and lineups all year. For Coop, it was also the lack of progress from Lopez, Covey, Fulmer, and more, including Cease’s struggles this year. Injuries, such as to Eloy, played a role, but the Sox could have at least won that A’s series, maybe even have had a chance against the Astros.
OMG!! What will the Sox do without the great Don Cooper
I know, it was sarcasm on your part 🙂
I believe the White Sox had 4 complete games in the 2005 ALCS. Wow. That will never happen again. Take your bow Mr Cooper. That’s the stuff of legends.
This team consistently has allowed the most first inning runs in baseball as well as the highest OPB of the first batter a reliever has faced over the past few years. At some point it comes down preparation and that falls directly on the pitching coach. His time was over years ago IMO. Of course many will tout the development of Giolito but as stated above that was his HS coach as well as McCann not Coop IMO. What did he do for Lopez, Rodon, Fulmer?
I used to like Coop, but the inability to develop so many of the arms that have come up has changed that. I can give a pass on Rodon with all the injuries, but Lopez, Cease, Fulmer, Covey, and more have just stalled under his watch. Cease has time to turn it around, but Cooper hasn’t helped any of them be the kind of pitchers they could be with their talent. I’m even happier about this than I am that they let Renteria go.
Love Coop, but it is time for him to go. He barely even got off his behind this year to support young pitchers. It was always the catcher. I remember a few times screaming at him to go out there – but no way. Too lazy I guess. Thanks Coop, but it’s either time to retire or go to NY – home.
Not a whole lot of pitching coaches looking for a new gig. Tigers likely to need one too. I’m guessing Anderson will follow Gardy into retirement.
Budget has a lot to do with these firings. Cooper was making too much money. Can hire a young gun with a computer for a fifth of what Cooper was making.
Surprising since this man oversaw Buhrle, Sale, Quintana and now Giolito. Unless it was his choice to step down, I imagine other ball clubs will come knocking
Coop never adapted to today’s game. That’s why it was time for him to go.
Giolito has gone out of his way not to give FF Coop any credit for his transformation. Also, tough to get him to step away from the buffet table long enough to pay attention what was going on during a game. Good riddance you overpaid, arrogant POS.
glad to know coop is gone, bring in some fresh thinking ….