In an interview with Fox26, Geoff Blum brought the thunder and the rain in talking about Cecil Cooper.
It was one of those over-bearing things that was like a black cloud hovering over the clubhouse. There were things you couldn't say. You couldn't be who you wanted to be in the clubhouse with all of the internal rumors and all the clubhouse lobbying going on, things like that. You don't need those kinds of things. It's hard enough to play a 162 game season with 25 different attitudes as it is. Then you add into the mix the heavy burden of playing for a manager who wasn't overly upbeat to be there in the first place, it seemed like. Now we've got a guy in here who wants to be here, first-year manager, brings over like I said the winning attitude and maybe a little more upbeat style hopefully."
There's definitely a new feel. We had some issues last year with Cooper and the way things were going and some of the clubhouse mood, but I've heard good things about Brad Mills from players that had him in triple-a and obviously he's coming from a winning organization in Boston. So that's going to be a good influence in the clubhouse. Knowing what Brad might bring to our ballclub, we're going to bring our best for him so that he can make the right calls and succeed...
...(A new manager) makes a huge difference. We're going into a championship season. You want to go into the season with a guy who's got your back and is enthusiastic about playing. We get bogged down through the season playing so many games. You are going to hit some ruts. You need somebody that is going to get you out of it. Knowing that you've got a manger and a coaching staff who are on your side and want to battle for you and with you makes a huge difference."
Roy, got anything you want to say?:
I think the attitude of the team is a little better this year. I think with Brad coming in he's going to add a little different attitude in the clubhouse and I think it's going to be a lot more fun around the clubhouse and a little better atmosphere.
I met him twice. With just the way he wants to learn the team, and he's been around winning teams too, so he's adding a different factor into the clubhouse than we've had. I think he's going to do a good job. A manager, you know, you've got to rally your troops. You can't get down on your troops. I mean they're out their playing their hearts out. His job is to stick behind us and ours is to stick behind him. I think he is going to be a good fit for us."
In one of the saddest lines Fox26 Sports has ever printed, the closer is:
When reached by FOX 26 Wednesday night Cooper declined comment.
I get it. You have to ask about The New Guy, and the new feel and atmosphere in the clubhouse. But there's a way to be excited without having to drag Cooper into the conversation. We all know Cooper had an issue with communication and that it was hard to play for him. What Blum and Roy said wasn't classless, but maybe a touch unnecessary.
That said, when a new boss comes in, everybody compares him/her to the old boss. It's just that our water-cooler conversation isn't printed. And thank God for that. I'd like to know what Cooper's response to this is, but he's holding his tongue - and should be applauded for it. (Though it would be pretty frickin awesome).