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Cooper discouraged by social media negativity

Abreu shares ups and downs of season with his family
@scottmerkin
September 20, 2019

DETROIT -- Don Cooper loves his job. But there is one particular aspect of the overall position the outspoken White Sox pitching coach quite frankly doesn’t really like, as he relayed to MLB.com prior to Friday’s series opener in Detroit. “Listen, I’ll be honest, the worst part of my job

DETROIT -- Don Cooper loves his job.

But there is one particular aspect of the overall position the outspoken White Sox pitching coach quite frankly doesn’t really like, as he relayed to MLB.com prior to Friday’s series opener in Detroit.

“Listen, I’ll be honest, the worst part of my job -- and I think I have the best job in the world -- is to deal with negative people and taking people to the negative side,” Cooper said. “Kicking us when we are down. It’s easy to do in a rebuild. But I’ll remember everybody who is doing it.

“The worst thing in the world that’s come along as far as I’m concerned is Twitter and a lot of social media [stuff] that gives voice to people who shouldn’t really have a voice, that don’t know what the hell the hitting coach’s job, the manager’s job, the pitching coach’s job, they have no clue what this job is.

“I don’t like that part of it. People are drinking beers, they get their beer muscles and they are not afraid to talk or act bigger. I don’t ever hear anything to my face at the field ever.”

Cooper, who has been White Sox pitching coach since July 22, 2002, is not afraid to critique his own crew. He spoke Friday of the younger guys developing within the rebuild, from All-Star Lucas Giolito to Reynaldo López to Friday starter Dylan Cease to relievers Aaron Bummer and Jace Fry. He also looks forward to the 2020 return of Michael Kopech, Carlos Rodon and Dane Dunning, who are all recovering from Tommy John surgery.

When asked if he was proud of what this group has accomplished, though, Cooper didn’t hesitate to say no, because the White Sox haven’t won.

“Even knowing it’s still the tail end of the rebuild, as coaches you come to the park trying to win games and wanting to win the games,” Cooper said. “For instance, losing the game the other night in Minnesota, I don’t say to myself ‘Don’t worry about it. We are still rebuilding.’

“It [stinks]. We lost the game. When you walk in the doors every day, the main purpose to come to the park is to win. And that’s what I’m excited about getting back to. I’m anxious and looking forward to see what we do in the offseason. I think we are close.”

Getting back to where the White Sox need to get is not far off in Cooper’s mind.

“I’ve been saying for a few years, good things are coming our way,” Cooper said. “Hopefully that’s next year.”

Abreu’s success is a family matter
José Abreu
entered Friday’s contest at Comerica Park tied with Anthony Rendon and Freddie Freeman for the Major League lead in RBIs at 119. Dick Allen, who had 113 RBIs in 1972, is the only White Sox player to lead the American League in RBIs and no White Sox player has ever led the Majors.

If Abreu hits that goal, it will be a special moment for the first baseman but also for his family. Abreu spoke Friday about his special baseball connection with his mom, Daisy, who is his biggest fan but also provides stern analysis of his game.

“She knows a lot, she’s been around baseball for a very long time,” said Abreu through interpreter Billy Russo. “It’s good for one way that she knows a lot. But there are sides that are kind of bad because she is always on me when I don’t do things.

“When she’s not in town, she’s connected to MLB.com or the TV with my sister and my brother. They are fanatics. They are really into what is going on with the Chicago White Sox and of course what’s going on with me. They know a lot.”

Abreu shared all these details with a proud smile, adding the special connection with his mom is “something wonderful.” That same bond exists with his dad, José.

“Every time I hit a homer, my dad texts me,” a smiling Abreu said. “I have an incredible father. I’m very glad because all the things he did for me, all the education. I’m just glad to have the parents I have.”

He said it
“We are here just to try to do our best every day and try to improve the things we’ve already done before. That’s all that matters for me.” -- Abreu

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.