Don Cooper, Harold Baines will be part of new White Sox regime
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org September 27, 2011 11:48PM
Updated: November 11, 2011 4:32PM
Don Cooper and Harold Baines have been given new multiple-year contracts with the White Sox, with Cooper also appointed to be interim manager for the last two games.
Cooper, 54, who has spent 23 years in the organization, was the minor-league pitching coordinator starting in 1993 and became the major-league pitching coach in 2002. Baines, 52, spent 13 of his 22 years as a player — chairman Jerry Reinsdorf’s self-professed favorite. He spent the last eight seasons on the coaching staff of manager Ozzie Guillen, who parted ways with the Sox on Monday. Baines’ No. 3 is retired, and he has a statue in the U.S. Cellular Field concourse.
Hitting coach Greg Walker and third-base coach Jeff Cox will be gone after Wednesday. Bench coach Joey Cora’s exit came sooner, with general manager Ken Williams dismissing him Tuesday morning in a text message.
Coach Mike Gellinger will serve as Cooper’s bench coach as the regular season ends.
Cooper said Guillen’s exit ‘‘was tough for everyone.’’
‘‘We had eight years together,’’ he said. ‘‘Eight years is a pretty good chunk of time in coaching and in life. The relationships are there. It’s tough to see things come to an end, but when things end, it’s a new beginning for everyone. I don’t think there’s a good guy or bad guy.
‘‘With Ozzie, I’ll say this: I realize how important a leader is. I saw it with Billy Martin when I was with the Yankees. Ozzie was that. He led us to a World Series. You always try to hitch your wagon to success. I’m grateful to him for that, and I wish him the best, and I love the guy.’’
Guillen is expected to be introduced Wednesday as the Florida Marlins’ new manager, but a premature version of his acceptance appeared Monday night in a blog on MLB.com. Minutes later, it was deleted.
Dinn Mann, executive vice president and editor-in-chief of MLB Advanced Media, told ESPN.com the blog was a ‘‘raw version’’ mistakenly posted by an employee ‘‘who simply hit the wrong button.’’
In it, Guillen thanked the Sox while reporting his move to Florida.
‘‘The Florida Marlins believe I am the right man for the job to bring another World Series to South Florida,’’ he wrote.
Guillen posted a message Tuesday on his Twitter account, saying, “weird to be in miami in this time but very happy ready to go.’’
The Marlins would send the Sox two prospects — right-handed pitcher Jhan Marinez and shortstop Osvaldo Martinez, both 23, as compensation for Guillen being released from his contract.
Marinez pitched at Class AA Jacksonville and went 3-8 with a 3.57 ERA and three saves in 56 games. He struck out 74 and walked 42 in 58 innings.
Martinez hit .245 with three home runs and 26 RBI in 88 games at Class AAA New Orleans. He was a September call-up last season.