Cooper's hamstring, not feelings, hurt
Pitching coach willing to accept ribbing from club
CHICAGO -- Don Cooper still felt some pain Saturday from his strained left hamstring suffered in Los Angeles on Thursday.
He also was moving a little better than he had been over the previous two days, and seemed ready to poke a little fun at himself over the strange injury. It came about when the White Sox pitching coach slipped as he was throwing his pitch counter while walking down the dugout steps.
"I'm ready to make a statement," said Cooper with a smile. "Like Curt Schilling, I think I might have thrown my last competitive pitch, but I can't promise that."
Cooper reiterated how his anger stemmed from what he perceived as a blown check-swing call on what would have been strike three with Matt Thornton pitching to Luis Maza leading off the seventh inning. The at-bat eventually ended with Maza reaching on a single, Cooper getting ejected and ending up with a severely strained hamstring for his troubles.
"We didn't deserve to be in that position," Cooper said. "My guy is busting his [butt], and now the tying run is coming to the plate. I wasn't ready or able to let it go. I deserved to get thrown out.
"You know what, I knew as soon as I did it that I was down, I was hurt, I needed a wall to lean on."
Of course, the public nature of the injury also told Cooper a great deal of good-natured ribbing would be coming his way. And by a great deal, he means incessant teasing for close to 1 1/2 straight days from the rest of the team.
In an attempt by the media to talk with Cooper on Friday, the White Sox pitching coach seemed to have reached his boiling point with manager Ozzie Guillen joking about the injury in the background. Cooper walked away from the interview, which the talkative and knowledgeable coach never does.
All was back to normal on Saturday, with Cooper focused more on his team's winning ways than his upcoming rehab.
"Really, if you aren't getting [teased] here, then you gotta worry," said Cooper with a laugh. "I would make a pledge, though, that if we win every series, I would pull my hammy on both legs every week."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.