Cooper apologizes during team meeting
Astros manager Cecil Cooper called a team meeting prior to Thursday’s game in which, according to more than one veteran player, he apologized to the team for forgetting to congratulate Ivan Rodriguez following Wednesday’s game. Rodriguez caught his 2,227th career game Wednesday, breaking the all-time games caught record.
Cooper was angry with how his team played in Wednesday’s 5-4, 10-inning loss to the Rangers and held a team meeting following the game in which players said he criticized their play. This didn’t set well with some players, who believed the story of the night was Rodriguez.
The players bought Rodriguez a bottle of Cristal champagne and signed it for him, while each had a bottle of champagne they got Pudge to sign for them. Cooper eventually congratulated Rodriguez after addressing the media Wednesday night.
Astros owner Drayton McLane arrived in Arlington prior to Thursday’s game and himself congratulated Rodriguez during batting practice, giving him a hug. McLane also chatted briefly with Cooper at the batting cage before disappearing to participate in a ceremony with former President George W. Bush, who lives in Dallas and was at the ballpark to participate in the re-naming of the owner’s suite.
Bush, who owned the Rangers when Rodriguez was a younster, paid a visit to the Astros clubhouse and congratulated Pudge on his record-setting game. Rodriguez responded by giving Bush one of his bats he used from the game last night.
The former President made his away around the clubhouse and stopped in manager Cecil Cooper’s office. Astros pitcher Tim Byrdak asked Bush if he could hug him, and after the embrace he yelled at his teammates: “And you said it couldn’t be done.”
Bush responded with, “Just as long as he didn’t kiss me.”
Here are two pictures, courtesy of Astros senior director of digital media Alyson Footer: