No suspension coming for Cooper
Manager will meet with MLB after incident with umps Saturday
HOUSTON -- Cecil Cooper won't be suspended for his altercation with the umpiring crew on Saturday, but he will be hearing from Major League Baseball vice president of rules and on-field operations Bob Watson in the near future.
Watson plans to give Cooper a lecture, not so much about what was said between the manager and umpires Mark Wegner and Rick Reed, but because of Cooper's postgame comments regarding the incident.
"We're going to have a talk, yes," Watson said Monday.
Cooper was ejected by Reed after Wegner, the second-base umpire, ruled Geoff Blum's drive to deep center was caught by Colorado's Ryan Spilborghs. Replays showed that the ball came out of Spilborghs' glove after he hit the ground, but when the center fielder raised the ball up in his bare hand, Wegner made the out signal.
Cooper argued with Wegner, who conferred with the rest of the umpiring crew and decided the call would stand.
After the game, Cooper told reporters the umpires "blew it."
"It's simple," Cooper said Saturday. "If they want to censor me and fine me, whatever, then they have to fine me, but I'm going to tell you just the way it is. I thought he blew it. I thought they all blew it."
Cooper stands by how he reacted and has no regrets about any of his comments, even if it does mean hearing from baseball's top disciplinarian.
"I guess I've got to go to the principal's office," Cooper said. "Sit down in the chair and get my lecture. I didn't do anything wrong, I didn't say anything out of line. And I never will. That's not my nature. That's not me. I'm sure [Watson is] going to do what he's got to do."
In many cases, manager-umpire altercations include wide-ranging use of colorful language not fit for a family atmosphere, but such was not the case with Cooper. The 58-year-old former All-Star has never uttered a curse word, no matter how heated the conversation. In that respect, he was somewhat surprised that his argument with the umpires resulted in an ejection.
"My biggest words are probably going to be 'gee' or 'golly,'" Cooper said. "I still don't know what I said to get thrown out. My conversation wasn't really with [Reed], per se. It was just kind of directed toward him as I was leaving. I said something like, 'You agree with those guys [the other umpires], huh?' That kind of deal. And I was thrown out. That's no reason to get thrown out."
Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.