Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Don Cooper tabbed interim manager
CHICAGO -- Pitching coach Don Cooper is taking over for departed Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen for the final two games of the season, not bench coach Joey Cora.
Guillen asked to be released from his contract Monday when the team would not grant him an extension. He will accept a managerial job with the Florida Marlins for four years, a source close to the situation told ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine.
Cora and general manager Ken Williams exchanged texts and had a phone conversation Tuesday. It was decided that Cora would not come to the park for the two games.
Cora is a close friend and former teammate of Guillen's with the White Sox and could join Guillen, if he takes the manager's job with Florida. Mike Gellinger is serving as bench coach for the final two games.
The team also announced that it had agreed to terms on a multiyear contracts with Cooper and first base coach Harold Baines.
While Cooper and Baines are in, it appears Greg Walker is out. Sources told ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine that the hitting coach will resign from his post. Walker will make his announcement on Wednesday, which is the last day of the season for the White Sox.
The move does not come as a surprise as Walker has come under fire multiple times during his tenure with the White Sox but perhaps no more than this year as players like Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Gordon Beckham struggled offensively.
Walker also had a well-publicized shouting match with Williams late this season in the tunnel that connects the White Sox dugout to the clubhouse.
The nine-year major leaguer hit 113 home runs during his playing days and played with the White Sox from 1982-90.
He is the only hitting coach in Chicago to win a World Series when the White Sox won the title in 2005.
One of the top in-house candidates to replace Walker would be Triple-A Charlotte hitting coach Tim Laker.
Information from ESPNChicago.com's Doug Padilla and Bruce Levine and The Associated Press was used in this report.