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Paul Konerko is sitting out Opening Day after 15 years in the White Sox’s lineup

Mar 31, 2014, 10:47 AM EDT

Paul Konerko Getty Getty Images

When Paul Konerko decided against retiring and re-signed with the White Sox both sides agreed that he’d be returning in a diminished role, but now that’s a reality: Konerko will not be in the Opening Day lineup today for the first time since 1998.

Konerko is slated to play mostly versus left-handed pitchers and Twins starter Ricky Nolasco is a right-hander. There was some thought to giving Konerko the start anyway, but the 38-year-old first baseman told manager Robin Ventura to treat it just like any other game and stick to the playing time plan.

That means Cuban slugger and $68 million offseason signing Jose Abreu will start in Konerko’s old spot at first base and Adam Dunn will get the nod at designated hitter. And as Ventura pointed out to Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com, maybe Konerko can come off the bench in a big moment and provide some Opening Day excitement that way.

  1. bryceharpersmojo - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:02 AM

    Pauly has always been a stand up guy. Just another example of him doing whats best for the team instead of whats best for himself…

    Love ya’ Pauly

    • hep3 - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:39 PM

      I totally agree with you on Konerko and he has had a great career, but we ain’t talkin’ Lou Gehrig sitting down. Time passes.

  2. jerze2387 - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    Hes only back this year to transition into the manager role next season (or maybe halfway through this season).

    Ventura was my fave sox player growing up, but hes not manager material, and Pauly has a foot in the door with these players (like Girardi when he took over in NY after playing there for so long)

  3. Earnest Christian - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    Reblogged this on The OpinioNation .

  4. happytwinsfan - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    for all those who disparage the twins, note that we have not a single lefty in the rotation. we have the whitesox on the run already!

    • kopy - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:14 PM

      I’m pretty sure we don’t have a single righty in the rotation either. How are opposing teams going to hit off our starting pitching when we don’t have any? Exactly. Suck it, Chicago!

  5. 2dmo4 - Mar 31, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    I’m not a Sox fan by any means, but I find it hard to believe that the Sox are a better team without Konerko in the lineup no matter who is pitching.

  6. tgis86 - Mar 31, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    IMHO once the season heats up and both Paulie and Dunn get their rips, Paulie will get a lot more AB’s. Adam Don’t is just too unpredictable. We don’t know what kind of year he’s gonna have. Will he lead the league in HR’s or SO’s? Will his BA be above or below .200? With Paulie you can pretty well tell where he’s going to be. His numbers have slipped, but he is still more consistent than AD. I just hope 14 has a solid year so he has a good feeling, knowing he contributed when he hangs ‘em up. Go Paulie….Go Go Sox!

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