Monday, September 21, 2009

A volatile look back at Coop's 2009

Astros County was birthed on November 6, 2008. So how did AC cover the second half of Coop's tenure?

Jan 30: Tracy Ringolsby gets dibs on putting Coop on the hot seat first.

Mar 7: Coop calls closed-door meeting. In Spring Training. Astros County, "This makes me happy. This kind of intensity, this kind of accountability? I love it."

Mar 23: Coop, "We should win 90 games."

Mar 29: Released David Newhan lights Coop up for his lack of communication

Apr 2: Fox Sports puts Coop on the hot seat. Astros County, "The state of the Astros has nothing to do with Coop. Unless of course he starts batting Berkman 8th. Not starting Roy when he faces the Reds. Things like that should be fire-able offenses. But no, I will not be happy with Coop getting fired if the Astros start 7-20."

Apr 15: Rosenthal puts Cooper on the hot seat. Astros County, "I think Cooper is still the man for the job. But I'm afraid I'm in the minority.">

Apr 19: Astros pick up Coop's option. Bourn, Tejada on the record as happy for him.

Apr 21: Rosenthal - "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."

May 15: JJO calls out Coop for running Geary out while he was hurt

May 16: JJO calls Coop "Hugo Chavez"

May 20: John Royal encourages the players to go public with their complaints about Coop.

May 21: Coop screws up the lineup card

May 23: JJO describes the clubhouse aura as "toxic"

May 23: Coop knows of no disgruntled veterans

May 26: Coop throws Roy under the bus. In this post, AC says, "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."

May 27: Team meeting emerges, one player asks other players not to complain to the media

May 28: Drayton - "Firing the manager is not in the cards." Astros County - "I'm still in favor of retaining Cooper, if only for the future of the organization. If Coop is not the manager after 2010, so be it...I like to think that baseball is the only sport with every contract guaranteed because baseball is still played by men of their word...Baseball is about honor and integrity. To fire a manager six weeks after hiring him for eighteen months beyond that does not show integrity, and reflects poorly on a poorly-run organization.

May 29: via Jon Heyman, "One competing GM remarked, "This could be a record for the quickest firing after a contract is extended."

May 31: Nick Cafardo - "(Coop) has the rap, true or not, that he throws players under the bus in the media and never fully has their trust."

June 10: Coop lets Backe throw 20 more pitches in his first start than his two previous bullpen outings combined.

June 19: Coop calls closed-door meeting to apologize for not congratulating Pudge for breaking the Games Caught record. JJO, "It's one thing for him to lose the clubhouse, something he did weeks ago. But the media has never, ever treated him unfairly in Houston. He needs to grow up."

June 25: Berkman publicly second-guesses Coop's strategy

June 30: Astros go to a six-man rotation, until Paulino gets shelled at San Francisco

July 8: Coop doesn't sweat being on the hot seat

July 10: Russ Ortiz pops off, alleges a lack of communication, closed-door meetings follow

July 14: Chicago Tribune's Phil Rogers suggests the Astros hire Manny Acta as a bench coach

July 29: Coop lets Wright throw 51 pitches at Wrigley, Wright leaves with dehydration

Aug 3: Coop walks Pujols to get to Holliday, Tejada questions Coop's strategy

Aug 10: Coop says the Astros "aren't built" to come back from a 5-run deficit

Aug 11: Coop walks Nick Johnson to get to Hanley Ramirez. I fully believe this is the point at which Cooper lost his job

Aug 12: JJO - Maybe the front office should start telling Cooper which relievers he can use

Aug 12: Chris Sampson and Coop have an air-clearing meeting

Aug 18: Justice - "My guess is that Drayton will fire Cecil Cooper and most of the coaching staff. This is a smart move only if he hires first-rate people to replace them, and his recent history indicates he may not do this."

Aug 19: Justice announces an open insurrection between the players and Coop

Justice - "I've come to like the guy. I think he's a decent man. I just think he wasn't cut out to manage a major league baseball team...."

Aug 24: Coop admits to having "no catching plan" after Pudge gets traded

Aug 26: Jerry Crasnick says Coop's negatives outweigh his positives

Aug 27: Pissing match between Coop and Roy

Aug 27: Berkman's Players-Only meeting addresses the lack of fire and passion. Which Berkman has none of, right now. In a separate post, AC writes: "I think the only fire we'll see for the rest of the season is Coop going down in flames."

Aug 29: Drayton will not issue a vote of confidence

Aug 30: Coop puts Wilton Lopez on the mound two hours after he arrives from Corpus

Sept 3: Ken Rosenthal puts his money on Coop's firing (and would win). Same post, Astros County puts Bo Porter's name forth as a possible replacement for Coop.

Sept 4: AC - "I don't know how you justify keeping Coop in 2010"

Sept 8: Justice - Cooper should be fired regardless of race

Sept 8: Justice - Cooper will be Drayton's scapegoat

Sept 8: Houston Press calls for the Astros to hire Frank Robinson

Sept 18: Ed Wade evaluates externally and internally every day, but won't discuss Coop

Sept 20: Coop reminds everybody he is under contract for 2010

Today: Renegs on Manzella starting twice every series

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