Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Seriously, did Cooper piss in Rosenthal's tea?

Ken Rosenthal, today, in its entirety (at least the Cooper comments):

When I covered the Orioles as a columnist for The Baltimore Sun, owner Peter Angelos would sometimes do just the opposite of what the media anticipated. It was as if he wanted to defy certain reporters and columnists whom he perceived as boogeymen, even if his stubbornness hurt the team.

Well, it was deja vu all over again when Astros owner Drayton McLane exercised the 2010 option on Cecil Cooper's contract Saturday, and not simply because I had written earlier in the week that Cooper might be the first manager fired.

The only rational explanation for extending Cooper at a time when the Astros were 3-7 was to give the team increased stability; McLane has employed three managers and three general managers since 2004.

True, Cooper rallied the Astros to 86 wins in his first full season after a 6-12 start. But that record was a mirage; the Astros were outscored by 31 runs. Their veterans, many of whom do not care for Cooper, are unlikely to be stirred by the news that he will remain their manager through next season.

What's more, Cooper's coaching staff is not considered strong. Yet, with the exception of hitting coach Sean Berry, who eventually could be sacrificed, the coaches, too, figure to gain increased job security.

Hey, it's McLane's team; he can do what he wants. Much as critics like myself might quibble, the Astros' record is the fifth best in the majors since McLane became owner in 1993.

Still, McLane sure picked a funny time to pick up the option of a manager whose team started the season 1-7 and finished 1-16-3 in the spring.

The owner probably believes that he snuffed out a potential problem. In truth, he might only have delayed the inevitable.

You look back at who was quoted in the article following Cooper's extension: Bourn, Tejada, McLane, Wade. McLane and Wade are obligated to say a few words. Who was not quoted? 23 other guys in the clubhouse. Berkman, Lee, Oswalt. Those are the guys who should say something. The fact that they didn't is just as telling. Okay.

There are a lot of accusations and critiques flying here. To name a few:
1) McLane acted in a way that Rosenthal does not understand. Therefore, he's a moron. And irrational.
2) Again with the Astros getting outscored. They're not as good as their record indicated - but that's how you tell how good a team is. It's a circular argument, and the logic is flawed.
3) Not only does Cooper not deserve an extension, but his bench coaches suck, too. They have increased job security, except Sean Berry.

And the Astros did not finish the Spring 1-16-3. They finished the Spring 11-4. And they did not start the season 1-7. They started 1-6, won two games, and then lost another. That's 3-7.