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Don Cooper says he could manage White Sox

Updated: November 11, 2011 5:16PM

For two days in Ozzie Guillen’s chair, Don Cooper looked the part of the manager. Until he showed up late for the postgame news conference showered and shaved.

“I thought you only did these things when you win,’’ Cooper said.

Despite having a four-year contract extension in hand — the only one from Guillen’s staff besides first-base coach Harold Baines to be under contract for 2012 — the White Sox’ pitching coach fielded questions about the vacant managerial job for two days.

“I’ve gotta believe that my managing tenure has come to an end here,’’ Cooper said. “But, like I said the other day and today, I could do it. I believe in my heart I could do it. I don’t believe there’s a baseball job that I couldn’t take care of.

“I don’t want anybody outside here in baseball to think that I can’t. The guy in the other dugout [Jays manager John Farrell] is a pitching coach. The guy in San Diego [Bud Black] is a pitching coach. That whole thing about, ‘Hey, ex-catchers are the best managers.’ Listen, pitching coaches have some brains, too. Sometimes they’re not all there, but sometimes they are.

“Enough said on that. I think I could do it. If the opportunity presented itself, I’d welcome and embrace that just like I do anything else, and we’d try to go. But I do believe that it’s probably at an end, at least here for the White Sox.’’

General manager Ken Williams said Tuesday that he has a preferred candidate in mind for the manager’s job and a short list. Some on the list could be involved in the World Series, so filling the position will take some time.

Sandy Alomar Jr., a former Sox catcher whom the Indians promoted from first-base coach to bench coach on Wednesday, is a leading candidate. So is former Sox outfielder Dave Martinez, the Rays’ bench coach. Red Sox manager Terry Francona, who managed the Sox’ Class AA team in Birmingham in the early 1990s while Cooper was the Sox’ minor-league pitching coordinator and was interviewed by Williams for the Sox’ job in 2003 when Guillen was hired, is also an intriguing possibility.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Alomar had not heard from the Sox, but he could be interviewed by the end of the week. He played for the Sox three different times between 2001 and 2006. He said Tuesday that he was “definitely interested, if anyone calls.”

“Sandy’s very talented,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. “I think eventually he’s going to end up being a big-league manager.’’

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