<
>

Cooper moves on, faces bullpen challenge

3/19/2012

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The White Sox’s Don Cooper has moved on from an offseason report that claimed the pitching coach informed the front office every time former manager Ozzie Guillen made a move.

”In my world and in my heart I’m trying to have love for everyone,” Cooper said. “I try to love even those who curse me, but I am comfortable in my own skin as a person and as a coach. Words can hurt, and I was hurt by what was said. People are responsible for what they say, but in my mind it was over the day after I spoke about it. When I know words aren’t true they hurt a lot less, but in the case that was reported there was no truth to it. I know I can look in the mirror and feel good about that.”

After Cooper said Guillen told White Sox general manager Kenny Williams to "let them sweat," in reference to re-signing the coaching staff, Guillen fired back. The former Sox manager and current Miami Marlins skipper told the Chicago Sun-Times that Cooper “backstabbed” his fellow coaches.

”I think if everybody was honest they would say a change was needed, and I believe this change is best for all of us,” Cooper said. “That is if everyone is honest about it.”

Cooper has more important things to worry about now, namely four rookie pitchers -- Hector Santiago, Dylan Axelrod, Zach Stewart and Nestor Molina -- in the bullpen.

Cooper has three veterans back in setup men Matt Thornton, Jesse Crain and Will Ohman, the only relievers with major league experience.

“We will have four young guys at least in the pen to start the season,” Cooper said. “Every year presents a challenge and this may be our greatest one since I have been here.”