Tuesday, May 26, 2009

On ridding ourselves of Coop

Much has been made of Coop's recent struggles, strategies, and woes in general. He's been called out for his tactics. His leadership. His communication skills. His demeanor in general. But the Astros should think twice about firing Coop any time soon, if at all.

One of the issues that has been brought up here numerous times is: If you're going to fire Coop, who would replace him? The list has been various and sundry - Bobby Valentine, Buck Showalter, Jose Cruz, Brad Ausmus (though Ausmus wouldn't be available until 2010, as he's under contract with the Dodgers and I doubt the Dodgers would let their backup catcher out of his contract to manage another National League team).

But there's something else. When the Astros exercised Cooper's option for 2010 on April 19, they locked themselves in. Managers - especially veteran managers - like job security. If six weeks, or even six months, after extending Cooper's contract through 2010, Wade and McLane go back on their extension and fire him, what self-respecting manager is going to want to come to Houston?

Certainly not one the Astros would want in the clubhouse. Cooper, for better or worse, should be able to manage out this season - it's not like he was given the '55 Dodgers, in the first place. He has made some questionable decisions, and it doesn't seem as though his approval rating is very high, but injuries and inconsistency have hurt this team much more than Cooper has.