Brutal commentary from the Houston Press this morning on Cooper's Battle for Respect:
Once again, as was the case with Jose Valverde and Geoff Geary, Cecil Cooper let Hampton pitch even though he knew Hampton was injured. Sure, Hampton's injury was only a cut thumb on his pitching hand which he injured on a soap dispenser in Wrigley Field, but Hampton was barely able to make it through four innings. At some point Cooper is going to have to tell one of his pitchers that, no, they can't pitch when they are injured.
But at this point, I think I'm more pissed at the players than I am Cooper. I don't like Cecil Cooper as a manager. I don't like the moves he makes. I don't like how he handles his pitching staff, or his batting order. But damn it, I make my complaints about Cooper public. The players, however, are too cowardly to go public with their complaints. So they send text messages to Ortiz mocking Cooper's moves or questioning why Cooper does what he does. And I agree with them. But the only way they're going to get changes is to actually go public with their distrust and dislike of Cooper.
I'll give Roy Oswalt this: when he had problems with Cooper last year, he let it be known. But this year, so far as I can tell, none of the players have really gone public. They just take the coward's approach and pick on him behind his back.
And it's my opinion that a team of cowards can never win anything. Not that I expected the Astros to actually win anything this year.