Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/13/13
White Sox captain Paul Konerko has not indulged those who speculate about whether he will retire this year after 15 seasons in Chicago and teammate Gordon Beckham wouldn't play what-if either Monday when asked whether he could fill a leadership void should Konerko leave. "He's got a lot more left in the tank so I wouldn't rule him out of playing next year" Beckham said before Monday's game against the Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field. "There's just not any reason for me to talk about that. … He's the guy everybody's going to go to for anything." Sox manager Robin Ventura was more forthcoming when considering the off-the-field benefits that would be lost with the departure of the "class act." He said Beckham in his fifth season with the Sox has the qualities to become such a leader but he would prefer to let a player evolve into one rather than name a new captain. "For a guy like Gordon who Paul has been a big influence (on) once you lose that guy it becomes different" Ventura said. "Maybe Gordon's voice has to get bigger. Somebody has to step into the shoes of leading by example doing things the right way and you don't know who that's going to be until that happens." Beckham has led the team on paper when healthy this season. He was out nearly two months after fracturing the hamate bone in his left wrist and he missed time with soreness in his wrist at the end of July. But around those absences he has led the Sox with a .299 batting average and a .350 on-base percentage in 63 games entering Monday. He has 28 runs and 16 RBIs. "There was some soreness for a while but I feel like that was a long time ago" Beckham said. "It took awhile to get back completely. When you take that much time off baseball you're a little bit rusty in some aspects. … It was a long route but I feel good."
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