Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/18/13
The subject came up again and Paul Konerko fouled it off the same way he has so many two-strike sliders on the outside corner during the course of his career. Next pitch please. And next question. This time the question wasn’t about whether this season will be his last but about when he might decide. Same topic still off-limits. Konerko’s contract is up after the season his 15th in a uniform that no doubt will be retired when he decides his career is over. Fan favorite team captain the last beloved connection to the 2005 World Series and the No. 2 home-run hitter and RBI guy in White Sox history. And a class act too. The man deserves his space. ‘‘I was kind of the same way’’ manager Robin Ventura said Tuesday reflecting on the twilight of his playing career. ‘‘Just because somebody comes and asks you a fifth time doesn’t mean that’s going to be the time to say it. When he decides one way or another what he’s going to do he’ll let people know.’’ Never a knee-jerk decision- maker Konerko 37 likely will go home to his family to think things over though it’s possible he already knows what he wants to do. If he was ready to retire he probably would have indicated it by now. Ventura a former player knows it’s tough to walk away. ‘‘It is’’ he said. ‘‘Even if you’re ready it’s tough. When you’ve been doing this pretty much your whole adult life whether you’re frustrated with it or doing well at it it becomes harder to know you’re going to be [retiring]. ‘‘I knew toward the end of my last year that I wasn’t coming back. It wasn’t like with Paulie. People want him to do a press conference.’’ Complicating the issue is Konerko’s production which hasn’t been Konerko-like since the All-Star break in 2012. Entering play Tuesday against the Minnesota Twins he was batting .247 with 11 home runs 52 RBI 38 runs scored and a .317 on-base percentage in 485 plate appearances. On the plus side he was hitting .309 (21-for-68) in his last 19 games. Back to the minus side only five of Konerko’s hits during that span were for extra bases. A major-league scout who has been watching the Sox put it this way: ‘‘I don’t think Konerko is going to help them anymore.’’
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