September 27, 2011
A manager getting fired before his first game?
This has to be some sort of record.
Despite an initial succession plan that had bench coach Joey Cora taking over for Ozzie Guillen as manager for the season's final two games, Chicago White Sox GM Kenny Williams instead chose to redefine the term "interim" on Tuesday morning.
That was when Williams reportedly sent a text message to Cora saying his services wouldn't be needed for the rest of the year, either.
Well ... OK, then.
Shortly after the Sox announced the immediate end to the Ozzie Guillen era Monday night, Cora, Guillen's close friend and bench coach, was told he would serve as interim manager for the final two games. A team official also told reporters that Cora would serve as interim manager.
But Cora received a text this morning from Williams telling him not to bother coming to the ballpark because (pitching coach Don) Cooper is taking over the team for the last two games.
That shouldn't come as too big of a surprise, nor should anyone feel too bad for Cora. Cooper and fellow coach Harold Baines have signed deals to return to the team in 2012 while the worst-kept secret in Chicago is that Cora will soon bolt to the Florida Marlins, where he can continue his role as Guillen's consigliere. If true, the impersonal move of firing-by-text seems like a good indicator of Williams' and Guilllen's failed relationship, the one that led to this split.
That said, Williams didn't really need to pull a move that only the late George Steinbrenner could have loved. Why didn't he just tab Cooper from the start?
Or, better yet, why not give some fan the thrill of a lifetime by letting him manage a game or two? These last two contests are meaningless, anyway, and it's about time that someone got rewarded for showing up to watch this dreck. (I'm really only half-kidding, though perhaps that's what they're doing by naming Cooper the man.)
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