White Sox notes: Cooper making the most of brief managerial stint

White Sox notes: Cooper making the most of brief managerial stint
June 7, 2013, 6:30 pm
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Don Cooper insists he's not interested in managing, but with Robin Ventura and Mark Parent out of town the longtime White Sox pitching coach took the reins of the club for Friday's game against Oakland at U.S. Cellular Field.

"I have no aspirations for that," Cooper said. "That's not my passion. I think I could do it, but my passion is pitching and White Sox pitching."

Cooper managed the final two games of the 2011 season when manager Ozzie Guillen and bench coach Joey Cora departed for Miami. Combined with Friday's game and a few years in Venezuela, that's the extent of Cooper's managerial experience. 

While he's flattered by his name being tossed around as a candidate to manage, it's something he said he's not thinking about -- but wouldn't entirely rule out listening if someone called him about an opportunity.

"If somebody came to me and said, 'Hey, we'd like you to be our manager,' then it would be on my mind," Cooper said. "Other than that, I don't think about that. I'm a pitching coach that's managing today in Robin's absence."

Paul Konerko, bench coach?

With Ventura and Parent both away for graduations Friday, the White Sox have a one-game bench coach opening. Paul Konerko is off Friday to get some rest, and as he walked by Cooper's pregame media gathering in the White Sox dugout a reporter asked the one-day Sox manager if he'd consider Konerko to be his bench coach on Friday.

"That’s one of the reasons why I was hoping he was playing, because I know he’s going to be in my ear all night," Cooper joked. "We’re going to be fighting about decisions, I’m sure. Don’t be surprised, after stuff like that, if you don’t see him go out there and pinch run."

"That’ll get you a job," Konerko quickly responded. 

Getting testy

With a bullpen still taxed from Wednesday's 16-inning game, Cooper deadpanned that he may have starter Chris Sale throw 175 pitches on Friday -- "I think it's time for him to get up to that level." But Cooper wasn't laughing when the left-hander's rare struggles were brought up later in his media session.

"They're very (bleeping) rare occasions, by the way, just so you know," Cooper bellowed. "I remember the first outing he had in Cleveland (4 1/3 IP, 8 ER)...He had one bad inning. The reason why everybody's up in arms is holy (expletive), he's never done that. Go find some other ones he's pitched real bad in. He's good."