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Paul Konerko unsure about playing next season

Sep 24, 2013, 12:16 PM EST

Paul Konerko AP

Earlier this month Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that Paul Konerko was “telling friends that he definitely wants to return to the White Sox next year and believes he can still be productive.”

However, it now sounds like the 37-year-old first baseman may be having second thoughts, telling Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago:

The last couple of times, and especially in 2005, there was no doubt I would play again. I understand the inquiries about my future and why people want to know. At the same time, it is still about doing my job; I don’t want to get ahead of myself. What is the rush, is the way I feel. There are certain things I don’t feel obligated to give out [or] tell people. There are some things that are private, and some people take it the wrong way.

My immediate reaction to that quote is to think Konerko plans to retire, because if he were simply going to come back for an 18th season would it really be that big of a secret? That’s just me trying to read between some lines, of course.

Konerko has had a miserable year, missing time with injuries and hitting just .248 with 11 homers and a career-worst .674 OPS in 121 games after topping an .840 OPS in each of the past four seasons. He’ll be a free agent this offseason, so even if he plans to return in 2014 it’ll almost surely have to be on an incentive-laden one-year contract and it’d be hard to blame the rebuilding White Sox if they weren’t all that interested.

  1. braddavery - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Come on Pauly Krackers, you always come back strong after bad season…

  2. raysfan1 - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    My guess is he’s undecided right now. He’s at the end of a disappointing season, feeling the pain of the injuries, etc. Let’s wait and see what he thinks in January when he feels better, he knows what his market is, and spring training is just around the corner.

    • braddavery - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      I get the feeling he will be back. He loves the game too much and as I stated, he usually comes back strong after a bad season.

  3. irishdodger - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    I remember when he was the heir apparent to Piazza behind the dish in LA. Then I think he was traded to the Reds where he played a little 3B before joining the ChiSox where he put together a nice career on the southside.

  4. jlovenotjlo - Sep 24, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    I’ll be at the last game of the season to see him play one last time. Konerko’s exit will mark the end of an era for the White Sox, as he is the only remaining player from the 2005 World Series Championship team.

    I do not see Paul Konerko coming back. His nagging injury, I believe, is a degenerative disc in his back. Its not something that is just going to heal itself in an offseason.

    Going back to the 2nd half of the 2012 season, Paul Konerko has had an absolutely horrendous season and a half. His career, sadly, is over.

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