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Don Cooper, occasionally sounding like he’s on autotune, appeared on Boers and Bernstein, and the rumor is true — he’s not a fan of the cameras.
B&B: Coop, are we going to see you prominently displayed on that MLB reality show? Or are you trying to hide when the cameras are popping up.
Cooper: You know what? To tell you the truth, I’m not all that comfortable with it … it’s kind of like foreigners being in on our meetings and things like that… the other day, I kinda got miked up for the game, and I hadn’t done that in seven years. Seven years ago, I got miked up for a game, felt extremely uncomfortable, did not enjoy it, and for the life of me, I have no idea why I said “yes” to it the other day. And 10 minutes after I got started, I said, “What in the hell did I get myself into?” Because I could not have fun with it. I just didn’t feel like I could be myself.
The guy who heckled Cooper the other day? He’s 80 years old, and not an MLB Network plant, according to Scott Reifert.
Meanwhile, Ozzie Guillen says he has dropped plans for a personal website because “a few guys from the front office didn’t like the idea.” Reifert said the communications staff didn’t have any problems. Maybe Kenny Williams did, though:
‘‘Don’t ask me another question about Twitter, websites [sic], blog, radio shows, non [sic] of that [crap],’’ Williams wrote in a text message. ‘‘All I care about is players playing, coaches coaching and managers managing. If they do that and do it well, we got no problems, but if they don’t …’’
Opening Day can’t come soon enough.
Rick Hahn, by comparison, got off easy. He sat down for a conference call with some White Sox bloggers/site operators, and while he had to take numerous questions about unpopular/unclear decisions — Scott Linebrink’s contract, the rotating DH, Mark Teahen’s extension — at least he was talking about baseball, and not social media.
But who knows? Maybe he’s a big Mashable guy. Some highlights…
On Linebrink: “There were some scouts in the organization who felt extremely strong about Scott’s ability to rectify some of the [declining] trends you saw. The statistical decline was not visible to the naked eye, so from a stuff standpoint, there still is that confidence.
“There was on two different occasions two different mechanical issues that we think are behind him, and fortunately, from a stuff standpoint, it is still crisp and he is healthy.”
On the rotating DH: “If this does not work … I think you can rest assured we are going to do everything in our power to correct it.
“There’s already a list in place, the are already conversations that have taken place, as it does with any potential foible in a roster construction. There is always a contingency plan and this is no exception.”
The Cheat followed up by asking about win accounting — that the plan eschews a Jim Thome or Johnny Damon-type player for Brent Lillibridge or Jayson Nix, if there are no hidden benefits — to which Hahn described a trickle-down effect broader than a one-on-one production comparison*:
- Carlos Quentin will get off his feet.
- Resting Paul Konerko affects the projection of Konerko.
- If they carry 12 pitchers, Omar Vizquel would be the only backup infielder, which would not give the Sox preferred depth.
(*He also used the phrase “20 runs over replacement” while illustrating a hypothetical, which was kinda weird to hear out of the White Sox organization.)
*Teahen “was a guy Kenny wanted strongly, and when the situation arrived to get him, we moved on it.” Andrew from 35th Street Review asked “Why three years?”
Hahn echoed Williams’ earlier sentiments in that the Sox expect big things from Teahen, now that he’s not bouncing between positions while having to shoulder a lot of the offensive burden on a losing club. Plus, with Teahen entering his arbitration years with a ton of experience, he would’ve been on the high side of all negotiations if he met said projections. The extension makes it a more manageable increase in the second and third years.
*Dayan Viciedo is still going to get a shot at third, and while his switch to Scott Boras surprised the Sox, the fact that he hasn’t used up even a day of service time means any ramifications are far down the road.
Hahn expounded on the perception of the chilly relationship between Boras and the Sox, saying they merely have differences in negotiations. Boras’ willingless to wait things out and really draw out proceedings doesn’t mesh with the Sox’s preferences to strike quickly, so their timing rarely lines up.
*Jared Mitchell isn’t going to be on the Gordon Beckham plan, though he has the potential to force the issue.
*Carlos Quentin is “a healthy player without restriction,” but they plan on getting him regular rotations in the DH spot to preserve his health.
*Health risk evaluation may be the next frontier after defense in sabermetric understanding. Right now, Herm Schneider and team doctors at Rush have methods of breaking down a player in order to project a likelihood of injury, but it’s “a far, far cry from an exact science.”
*Mark Buehrle still loves being cryptic about his health:
Asked why his bullpen session was moved from Wednesday to Thursday morning, Buehrle said, ”I was hung over [Wednesday], so we moved it back a day. There was no injury; it was just being hung over.” […] ”I’m hurt and have to take shots every start. Taking medicine, cortisone every start — Dutch Elm, I don’t know what they’re calling it now.
*Thursday’s highlights in a 5-5 tie with Cleveland:
- Freddy Garcia allowed three runs over three innings.
- Linebrink, J.J. Putz and Matt Thornton each threw a scoreless inning, as did Sergio Santos.
- Ramon Castro homered in his first spring game.
- C.J. Retherford hit a two-run shot and drew a walk while playing the whole game.