Archive for Cecil Cooper

Flying the Coop.

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , on September 21, 2009 by Astropolithecus

Ladies and Gentlemen, the official news that had to be announced was just announced. Cecil Cooper is no longer the manager of the Houston Astros.

Without knowing major details as of yet, I know two things:

       I like Cecil Cooper; good man, good player.

       Cooper is not a good manager. I wouldn’t like him to be my hitting coach either.

First, we all know, thanks to beckeesh and Cabeza and masses of other swirling murmurs, that the players don’t like Coop running the show.  I bet most of them are just fine with him as a man, but I bet his assumptive and vague style of managing drives the players, the hustlers and the veterans, mad with frustration.  His always predictable player movement  combined with his bizarre pitcher monitoring doesn’t thrill me either. 

Also, why always so hard on Roy O.?  There must be a strange history there.

Anyway, Cooper speaks without inspiration for the team,  and he never held up his end of the bargain as a mediator, leader, and entertainer (at least as a coach).

So farewell Coop, good luck in future endeavors, and , PLAYERS, whoever the new manager is, give him a GODDAMN chance before you bury him. With great power…

                      Berkmaniac

This is Why We Call the Blog Disastros

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , on May 24, 2009 by beckeesh

Ugh.

I planned my afternoon around this game… And what happens?  Blanked by the Rangers. 

Let me put that in context.  Swept by the Rangers.

It was one of those games when we didn’t hit and we didn’t make any miraculous fielding plays either.  It was one of those games when our starting pitcher gave up hit after hit and then our hitters countered with one pitch pop fly outs.  

It was a game I’ve seen before, about a million times.  It’s not even July yet but I’m feeling kind of down about our chances.

OK, bright spots:

Miggy went 4 for 4.  Q got 2 hits.  Russ Ortiz pitched 4 shutout innings.  Cooper got the lineup right.

We need something to pump up this team, and this fan blogger. 

Bagwell for team manager!

Hugo Chavez? They Don’t Mean it in a Good Way

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , on May 18, 2009 by beckeesh

Props to JJO for reporting something worth talking about

As previously posted by Cabeza, the Astros Clubhouse has been reported to be none too happy with Cecil Cooper. 

I’m none too happy with him, either. Have you seen a positive post about him on this site? (Maybe Berkmaniac holds out hope?)

Now we have JJO saying that the players refer to Cooper as “Hugo Chavez,” that they won’t defend his managing choices… Even Cheo won’t defend him? Ouch! Hey Cecil, maybe it’s because you said he could be your bench coach, and gave him a taste of the action, and then let him be demoted back to first base coach. If that’s how you treat your friends…

As for the Hugo Chavez comparison, hmm… Personally, I’d go with Mao. That’s a real scary communist.  Either way it gets me thinking, I wonder what Cooper’s political affiliation is? I hope for his sake it’s not Republican, because he may be fixin’ to find himself unemployed.

Weigh In on Wandy, Cooper

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , on May 9, 2009 by beckeesh

Cooper’s handling of Wandy really bothers me… But is it just me?  I’ll tell you what I think.  Then you tell me what you think, ‘Stros fans.

I think Wandy should never have been pulled in his last outing.  He wasn’t dominating, but he was keeping us in the game.  He’d only thrown 86 pitches, and the bullpen had pitched 8 innings the day before.  We got the win, but we also relied on the bullpen for more than was necessary.

Then last night, Wandy pitched a gem.  Cooper now has to make hay about it in the press.  However, I tend to believe Wandy’s angle more.  Cooper had taxed the bullpen too much recently.  That’s why he left Wandy in to dominate… Though still not as long as Wandy wanted.  He pleaded to be allowed to finish the shut out game, but again Cooper denied him.

I think Cooper has zero confidence in Wandy, and way too much faith in Jeff Geary, et al.  And as I said, it bothers me.

May 8:

Player IP H R ER BB K HR BFP Pit B-S ERA OpBA
W. Rodriguez (W 3-2) 8.0 5 0 0 0 7 0 29 116 34 – 82 1.80 .208

Cooper on Wandy:  “Much, much needed. I tell you what, the young man has really shown a lot this year. He’s really grown. He’s becoming a big-time pitcher, our most consistent guy by far.”

Wandy on Cooper:  “Cooper used the bullpen a lot early, and I thought about that, too,” Rodriguez said. “I needed to go long, because he used his bullpen a lot. That’s what I was thinking in the game.”

source: astros.com

May 3:

Player IP H R ER BB K HR BFP Pit B-S ERA OpBA
W. Rodriguez 5.0 6 3 3 3 3 0 23 86 31 – 55 2.19 .216

Wandy on Cooper: “I wanted one more inning, but Cooper said that’s it.  I respect this guy. I tell him, ‘I want one more inning.’ But he didn’t want to.”

Cooper on Wandy: “He was at 85 or 86 (pitches), and I just thought it looked like it was kind of getting away from him a little bit,” Cooper said. “We had some fresh guys to use there.”

“The bullpen kind of bailed us out today,” Cooper said. “Actually, the last two days.”

source: houston chronicle

 

Cooper could be first manager fired

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , on April 15, 2009 by Cabeza De Vaca

See Ken Rosenthal’s column.  He says that the veteran players don’t like Cooper.  Amen.  Cooper is absolutely horrible.

New-han’s On Deck, or, Predictions Schmictions

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2009 by Astropolithecus

Quick check in on our beloved and terrifyingly inconsistent disAstros.

I have not blogged in a bit, mostly because I was intently watching my NCAA Tigers go all the way to the Sweet 16, only to be dismantled by Missouri. And Now I’m watching Kentucky try to woo Memphis’ future away.

ANYhoo, this is not a Memphis blog, though Calipari could learn from the loyalty of Bagwell, Biggio, and Berkman.

This is an Astro blog, and though hope springs eternal yada yada, No one in baseball has the slightest respect for the Astros’ chances to even compete in the NL Central. Despite our scrappy pedigree, even the Reds are consistently picked ahead of us, though they have proven nothing more than the Stros as far as I’m concerned.  

I state this now. Listen oh predicting and Astro loving world.  A very slow start, or more than 3 early injuries, and we can kiss the Astros’ season goodbye, but even a medium start, and I will guarantee you the Astros hang around for postseason contention.  Our pitching staff, though the weak point of the team, isn’t as horrifying as everyone predicts.  I respect Moehler, Hampton is solid if healthy, and Wandy could easily have his best year this year, put it all together, so to speak. 

How many times has a team’s pitching staff proven saltier and more durable than anyone expected.  There are at least two story lines like that EVERY YEAR in Major League Baseball. 

And don’t get me started on how disrespected our hitters are, at least as a group.  Now that we’ve got Pudge too, Our lineup is very solid. I’d take our club’s hitters over the Red’s any day of the week.  Berkman and Lee are blue chippers, and the only knock against Pence is that his sophomore season wasn’t spectacular. The only knock on Matsui is his health, which is a legitimate worry, but when he’s playing, baby, money all the way.  Remember the Rockies folks? Not that long ago.   And Tejada? Still one of the best hitting shortstops in the game. And he’ll have something to prove coming in.

I’d put our bullpen up against any in the majors.

So, there you go. All the predictors can BITE ME!

The 2009 Astros probably won’t win the division, but they will compete for the Wild Card.    

My only major concern now(besides injuries)?

                                                            Management.

After Cabeza’s research, and after reading about Newhan’s anger concerning Cooper’s handling of his release, I am worried about his leadership. I was a big supporter last year, and I think he is a gritty, cool guy, but he may not be a good leader with the Astros. Now, he may be, Newhan could just be blowing justifiable steam, but if the players don’t respect Cooper, we’ve got a problem.  Wade may not be liked all around, but I bet he’s got some respect from the boys.

If the players leave it out on the field, then the weird Wade and Cooper vibes will dissipate, but if not…

Of course Drayton McClane is a weirdo, and they’ve been fine under him for a number of years. 

A player, and soon, should make a statement of solidarity concerning Cooper. Please.

P.S. Concerning Wade, I’ll hear other arguments, but don’t bring up Chacon and how Wade handled that badly.  Shawn Chacon is an idiot.  Don’t attack your boss after you instigated an argument.  Don’t PHYSICALLY attack him anyway.

I repeat, I don’t care what Oswalt said, Chacon is a hot headed moron, who blew a chance at late career glory because he wanted to flex up against a sixty year old man who gave him a second chance to start. At least Caminiti waited till he was retired.

Houston Ties Nationals in Six OT’s!

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2009 by Astropolithecus

In the most remarkable intrasquad game this past week between the hours of noon and four played between the Astros and the Nationals, the Astros and the Nationals went past a 2-2 tie into six overtimes, until they all just finally gave up.

“I know we play by weenie rules where we tie.”, said a weary Cooper, “But since we really need a spring win, I asked  Manny Acta if we could play on for a few regulated periods, much like in basketball. He gave me a long, empathetic look and agreed.”

After six overtimes, in which the Astros committed two errors and struck out four times, the Nationals bench, and Assistant Athletic Trainer Michael McGowan, who actually stayed for the overtime periods, hit some very deep fly balls off of four potential Astro starters, but a strong wind just barely held them all in the park, enough for the Astros to salvage the tie.   

” I’m relieved,to be honest”, continued Cooper, sipping from a worn flask, “aehh…we hung tough with their bench, and I mean, these guys could possibly finish fourth in the the N.L. East. So some positive signs.” 

Infielder Anderson Hernandez hit a screaming double that looked fair down the line which would have scored two with 3:45 left in the fourth overtime, but after rounding first and seeing the forlorn and dusty Astros start slumping their way back to the dugout, he waved the Houston squad back onto the field, and trotted back to the batter’s box, yelling in an upbeat voice that his hit was “clearly foul”. 

  ——From Friday’s AP ticker

Brad James goes all Chuck Knoblauch on us.

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , on February 27, 2009 by Cabeza De Vaca

Alyson Footer had a piece the other day about Brad James catching a case of the “yips,” also known as “Steve Blass Disease.”  Turns out he was scared he would hit one of his own teammates, then he started thinking too much, and then he hit Humberto Quintero.  He started throwing away from the hitter instead of pitching to the catcher.  

This might just be a little thing he goes through, but I see this having huge potential for disaster.  If the Astros’ top pitching prospect is battling his own thoughts, doubts, insecurities like this, look out.  He is the next Jason Lane.  Lane’s potential was never realized because he was so scared of failure.  He kept trying not to mess up, and when you do that, you start to mess up, and on comes the vicious circle.  

Footer quoted Cecil Cooper as saying: “We know he’s got a lot of ability. Sometimes he’s doubting himself a little bit, not feeling good about himself. We’re talking to him, trying to work through it.”  

They had better keep it light and be careful not to give this kid too much to think about, or it will make matters worse.  I suggest they watch the movie “Swingers” for inspiration.

Coop: “You’re so money and you don’t even know it!”

Brad: “That was humiliating.”

Coop: “You don’t look at the things that you have, you only look at the stuff that you don’t have.  Those guys are right about you – you’re money.”

Brad: “I hit Q, is he okay?”

Coop: “That was so fucking money. That was like the Jedi mind-shit.”

Postcard from a Disaster, aka Monday Morning Quarterbacking in the Summer of Brett Favre

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2008 by beckeesh

Well, we survived the tornado, but not the disaster.  Cecil Cooper lost two games for us this week, and he should have to answer for it.

*********************************************************************************************************

Case One:  Tuesday, 8-5-08, Astros v. Cubs

Wandy gave up six, and the Cubs surged to an early lead after two innings played.  However, the momentum began to shift to the Astros’ favor later in the game.  We scored two in the fifth, two in the sixth, and three in the seventh to jump to a one run lead. 

Then, the bottom of the seventh.

Sampson was on the mound after pitching an effective but shaky sixth inning.  He started off the seventh by giving up back to back hits followed by a sac fly from Fukudome.  With the eighth spot due up, Lou Piniella sent in Daryle Ward to pinch hit.

And then, with runners on the corners and one out in the seventh, Cecil Cooper made the call to have Sampson INTENTIONALLY WALK DARLYE WARD. 

I’m sorry, WHY?  Daryle Ward is a career .264 hitter, and this season he’s only hitting .227.  He’s only 1-for-4 against Sampson with two strikeouts, and he’s never faced Wesley Wright.  In fact, I can’t believe Cooper didn’t salivate at the idea of getting the lefty-lefty matchup there.  Why not bring in Wright to face Ward and force Pinella to manage his way out of it? 

WHAT WAS COOPER THINKING?!

I can tell you, I was sitting very close to this action at the time, in a group of ‘Stros fans, and all of us were asking, “What’s he doing here?  Why is he walking Ward to face another pinch hitter?” and  “Wait, doesn’t that mean we’ll see Soriano this inning?” and finally, “Do we have this right?”

We did have it right, and Cecil Cooper had it all wrong.  It would not be his first mistake.

Fontenot (lefty) had been announced to pinch hit for the pitcher, Howry, but Coop went to the bullpen again.  Wesley Wright came in for the Astros, so Pinella burned Fontenot and turned to Geovany Soto (righty) for a better matchup. 

This makes it bases loaded, one out in the bottom of the seventh, Astros 7, Cubs 6, Geovany Soto v. Wesley Wright. 

The count went 1-0, 1-1, 2-1, 2-2… Strikeout!  

Strikeout! Strikeout! 

Now it’s bases loaded, TWO outs!  TWO OUTS!  “Maybe things will turn out OK after all.  Go ‘Stros!” we’re thinking.

We temporarily forgot that coming to the plate was… Alfonso Soriano.

Well, Wright is DEALING, so bring it on, Soriano!

<<<PA Announcement:  Pitching change for the Astros.  New pitcher Doug Brocail.>>>

MISTAKE NUMBER 2, COOPER, SIR.  We fans in the stands were deflated.  Weren’t you?

I’m sure I don’t have to remind you of what happened next:  grand slam, left field.  Grand slam on a 1-2 count! Brocail would give up another run that inning, and we would not be able to come back. 

Eleven, eleven, eleven, 11 runs Cubs, 7 runs, Astros. 

Of the fateful moment, Cooper had this to say:  “It was a pitch that [Brocail] didn’t get where he wanted,” Cooper said. “He wanted to bounce a slider and ended up hanging it. When you hang it to guys like [Soriano], they’ll make you pay.”

I have yet to hear any explanation for walking Daryle Ward.

[We got] down, and I felt like the Cubs, a first-place club and a talented club like that, it’s kind of tough to come back. But we got some big hits and everybody played well.”

Everybody, Coop?

*********************************************************************************************************

Case Two: Wednesday, 8-6-08, Astros v. Cubs

This case is a lot simpler to make:

Brandon Backe, EIGHT earned runs in the third.

No one up in the bull pen.

Two earned runs in the fourth.

Who is that, Byrdak out there?

Eleven, eleven, eleven, 11 runs Cubs, 4 runs, Astros.

What made this loss really hard to take was the fact that once out there, Brydak threw 2 2/3 scoreless, and LaTroy Hawkins, who pitched the eighth (to boos from the Cubs audience) STRUCK OUT THE SIDE!

I’ll call this a WAY #2 loss: bad starting pitching.  But in my mind this game, like the one before it, was lost by Cecil Cooper.