Astros-Giants: Bad Calls from Cecil Cooper and Richard Justice

I wasn’t going to watch last night’s Astros/Giants game, but I turned to the Olympics at 7:00 and discovered that the great minds at NBC apparently thought that men’s synchronized diving was fit for primetime network viewing, so I switched over to Fox with the plan to watch the Astros until the women’s beach volleyball got started. Then I discovered something so monstrous, so disgusting, so inconceivable, that I just couldn’t turn the TV – well, at least until the women’s beach volleyball started.

Ty Wigginton was starting the game. In left field. I just couldn’t believe that Cecil Cooper was starting a mediocre third baseman/first baseman/second baseman in left field. Not when he had the exceptional Darin Erstad available. It made absolutely no sense.

None.

I can’t take it anymore. I vowed to myself that I was going to go the entire year without explicitly stating this, but I just can’t do it. So here it goes:

FIRE CECIL COOPER! AND FIRE HIS ASS RIGHT NOW!

No, seriously, I mean it. Get rid of his ass. Someone this stupid doesn’t deserve a major league managing job.

It’s not just Wigginton playing in the outfield. It’s his inability to control his pitching staff. It’s his benching his best players in a game against the Yankees with Roy Oswalt on the mound. There’s his continued inability to help the young players become better, and his stubborn insistence that Miguel Tejada gets to play every day. There’s his inability to control his clubhouse. There’s his head scratching tactical decisions that makes one miss Phil Garner.

But finally, there’s his insistence that no matter what, he’s got to play a DH or an infielder in left field every night, despite the fact that Darin Erstad, Michael Bourn and Hunter Pence would all be starting for most of the clubs in the majors.

Yes, I know the Astros won the game 3-1 last night – nice of you to finally show up for the game there, Brandon Backe. And yes I know that the Astros have managed to pull themselves back to .500, but I’m not changing my mind. Cecil Cooper needs to have his ass fired.

The four game series with the Giants continues tonight as Roy Oswalt (9-8, 4.56) goes against my choice for the Cy Young, Tim Lincecum (12-3, 2.68).

MISCELLANEOUS GAME NOTES:

I feel that it is my role to provide a little perspective about the Carlos Lee injury, because it doesn’t appear any perspective is being applied over at the Chron. If you’ve been reading the coverage there, then you can be forgiven for thinking that Carlos Lee has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. On Sunday we were told about the difficult time Lee was facing and about how he was getting through it because of the help of good friends. Yesterday afternoon, we were told about a “last kiss to his wife Mary” as he was hauled off to surgery, and about how lucky he was that his wife was able to be present. Then there was a post on what a nervous wreck his wife was while he was in surgery.

Here’s the thing. Carlos Lee broke his pinky finger. He had surgery to repair the fracture. He’s not dying. He doesn’t have some kind of disease. He’s a rich man having surgery on a finger and he doesn’t have to worry about his insurance company disputing the need for surgery because his left pinky finger is not required to play baseball. Despite what the Chron writes, the injury to Carlos Lee’s pinky finger is not some great tragedy.

So let’s get a grip, people. It’s a pinky finger. It’s not life-or-death. And let’s all be thankful that the Chron didn’t feel this compulsive need to get so up-close when it was Kaz Matsui’s ass that was having surgery.

***************** Speaking of perspective, there was no need for Drayton McLane to call Carlos Lee in the locker room Saturday night, despite what Carlos Lee and Jesus de Jose Ortiz might think. The guy broke his pinky finger. There’s nothing to indicate that McLane called Kaz Matsui when he had his anal fissure, and there’s nothing to indicate that McLane called Humberto Quintero when he was hit in the head by a bat and suffered a concussion, and those injuries are all worse than a broken pinky finger.

Second, because the reporting is sloppy, we don’t even know when McLane was informed of the injury, so at the time that Lee is whining about Drayton not having called him, we don’t even know if McLane has been told of the injury.

But, and again, we’re dealing with a broken pinky finger. I’m sure McLane has more important things to do than to be calling millionaire grownups that have broken pinky fingers. I certainly don’t expect my boss to call me if I break something.

**************** I don’t know how many of you spotted this yesterday, but Richard Justice did it again. He wrote a blog post, and when he changed his mind about what was in the post, and he deleted what he had written and replaced it with something else. This isn’t the first time this happened – I know for damn sure he did it during last season’s Texans/Titans game at Reliant.

I think this is dishonest.

My editor doesn’t let me go changing the tone and content of entire posts – yes, I will have a typo or a wrong/missing word corrected – but if I’m wrong about something, it stays on our Web site. There would have been nothing wrong with Justice’s post about Cecil Cooper saying he was quitting if Barry Bonds was hired, then writing another post to say that Cooper’s quote was wrong, then apologizing. But deleting his post criticizing Cooper for saying he was going to quit, and then replacing it entirely with another post about Cooper’s correct statement is just wrong. – John Royal


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