I like reading Joe Cowley articles because he's not for beginners.
Those who read him long enough know that he has his sources, and he goes to bat for them -- or against their enemies. And while there is some legitimate insight to be gleaned from what he writes, you have to work to filter out the slant.
In this case, he's been on a crusade against Don Cooper. Partially because Cooper supposedly went behind Cowley favorite Ozzie Guillen to get an extension, and also probably because he enjoys getting a rise out of Cooper and listening to him get all high-pitched, fast-talking and huffy. He doesn't need Cooper for stories, so he uses him for ratings.
But in order to paint Cooper in a really unfavorable light, he has to leave some things out. That's where it's fun for me, because I like to fill them in. So let's take today's column, where he talks to John Danks and also offers some information on the pitching staff's inner workings.
For starters, it's cause for caution when somebody writes about the White Sox's organizational disorganization in 2011 and doesn't mention the words "Ozzie" or "Guillen" once. But if you want to get specific, there are two other noteworthy omissions.
Anonymous pitcher says: "They preach to us to act a certain way in a contract year, and you have a coach who couldn't lead by example. That rubbed a lot of us the wrong way."
But wait a second: The players also had a manager who, in back to back years, stated that he probably wouldn't even bother serving the last year of his contract. "I don't think I'll be back here for just a one-year contract and (not) know what to do the next year," Ozzie Guillen said on Aug. 30. He also had similar sentiments the year before. So what the players had was a coach who acted a different way in his contract year, working under a manager who threatened to take his ball and go home during his. That's healthy all the way around.
Cowley writes: "Then there was the disintegrating relationship between Cooper and starter Jake Peavy when the veteran right-hander believed Cooper threw him under the bus in several interviews."
But wait a second: Remember the time last spring training where Guillen said Peavy convinced him that he could pitch in the spring outing that caused his setback? And then Peavy responded that Guillen had "complete control from the start," and that he didn't ask or beg his way back in? And remember how this was far from the first time it had happened?
I'm sure there are truths in there. I bet Cooper is on a different plane than the other White Sox coaches ... but because he gets results and he predates practically everybody but Herm Schneider. I bet Cooper and Jake Peavy had communication issues ... but everything I've read and heard Peavy say indicates that he's a high-maintenance guy who believes he's low-maintenance, and thus his very existence hinges on a disconnect that the entire White Sox staff has not been able to negotiate.
And I'm sure that John Danks is a little bothered that the Sox didn't protect Jordan Danks on the 40-man roster -- because it was foreseeable. And hey, he technically wrote a column that wasn't about Ozzie Guillen. So all in all, this article is truthy enough for Cowley to easily defend when somebody accuses him of printing lies or doing somebody's dirty work. He just leaves gaps big enough to drive a Paul Konerko triple through, if you follow the stories closely enough.