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Chris Sale has proved ‘experts’ wrong, pitching coach Don Cooper says

Updated: July 14, 2013 11:13PM

PHILADELPHIA — White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper has had pitchers named to the All-Star Game 14 times.

Left-hander Chris Sale has accounted for two of those in his third full season and his second as a starter, and Cooper said Sale has proved skeptics wrong by bouncing back from his 192 innings in 2012 with 120 good ones before the break in 2013.

‘‘Everybody in the world said, ‘Well, he threw too much, and he won’t do it this year.’ Well, they’re wrong,’’ Cooper said. ‘‘All the experts, whom I don’t even know, saying he’s probably going to break down. These are unqualified statements, probably from people who don’t have a real knowledge of pitching and the mechanics.
But he’s having a great career so far, and we plan on this going for
a while.’’

Sale, whom Cooper compares to Randy Johnson, is 6-8 with a 2.85 ERA. He has 131 strikeouts and a WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched) of 1.008. At the break last season, which came a week earlier, Sale was 10-2 with a 2.19 ERA, 98 strikeouts and a 0.955 WHIP in
102 innings.

‘‘I’m not trying to say this to put pressure on him or compare him to a future Hall of Famer, but because of body type, angle, delivery, things like that, he reminds me of Randy Johnson,’’ Cooper said. ‘‘Listen, he’s good right now. If we keep him healthy, he has a chance to be really, really good and have the career he was dreaming about as a kid.’’

Hawk, in living color

Sox play-by-play man Ken Harrelson said he is looking forward to watching the MLB Network documentary ‘‘The Colorful Life of Ken Harrelson’’ at 6 p.m. Thursday at a family gathering at his home.

‘‘It’s flattering,’’ Harrelson said. ‘‘It’s something I didn’t expect. I’m happier for my grandchildren because we’ll get copies of it and they’ll have it forever.’’

Harrelson, 71, told reporters he loves broadcasting now more than ever and has no thoughts of retiring. He repeated his hope that he will die in the booth.

‘‘Besides that, I don’t have a choice,’’ he said. ‘‘When you marry a Greek, you give up all those rights. A couple of years ago, I was joking around with [wife Aris] and said, ‘Honey, I’m thinking about packing it in after this year.’ She said, ‘No, you’re not! I couldn’t stand you for 12 months a year.’ ’’

This and that

Second baseman Gordon Beckham didn’t play because of a deep bruise in his left quad suffered in a collision with right fielder Casper Wells late Saturday.

† Detroit Tigers third-base coach Tom Brookens will coach third base at the All-Star Game. Sox manager Robin Ventura declined the opportunity.

† Catcher Josh Phegley left in the ninth inning after taking a foul ball off his right index finger. He was replaced by Tyler Flowers.

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