Nats add Cora, Cooper to skipper list

Nats add Cora, Cooper to skipper search

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals have added Cecil Cooper and Joey Cora to their list of managerial candidates, according to industry sources. Cooper is currently a bench coach for the Astros, while Cora is third-base coach for the White Sox. It is believed that Cooper and Cora have already had interviews with the Nationals.

General manager Jim Bowden was unavailable for comment. Bowden has not talked to the media since Sept. 30, when he and Frank Robinson announced that Robinson would not manage the Nationals in 2007.

Both Cooper and Cora have experience as Minor League managers. Cooper managed Triple-A Indianapolis, a Brewers affiliate, in 2003 and '04 and went a combined 130-156. He joined the Astros' coaching staff in 2005 and was a member of a club that won the pennant that year.

When reached by phone, Cooper declined to talk about his conversations with the Nationals.

Cooper, who also worked as an executive in the Brewers organization, is best remembered as one of the top first basemen in the late 1970s and early '80s. A five-time All-Star, Cooper helped guide the Brewers to the American League pennant in 1982.

Cora, 41, managed Class A Savannah -- then a Nationals/Expos affiliate -- in 2003 and the club went 58-82. Cora has spent the last three years as Ozzie Guillen's third-base coach and saw the White Sox sweep the Astros in the 2005 World Series.

Like Cooper, Cora is best remembered as a player, spending most of his time as a second baseman with the White Sox and Mariners.

Cora was unavailable for comment.

In other news, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman has established the ziMS Foundation, dedicated to the treatment and ultimate cure of Multiple Sclerosis. The ziMS Foundation will host local events in Zimmerman's hometown of Virginia Beach, Va., and in Washington, D.C., to raise funds for the foundation. Zimmerman will be an active participant in the national MS Society and the Washington, D.C., chapter.

Zimmerman's fight against Multiple Sclerosis is influenced by the fact that his mother, Cheryl, was diagnosed with MS, a chronic and unpredictable disease that affects the central nervous system.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.