Konerko has thought about life after baseball

Konerko has thought about life after baseball
February 17, 2013, 3:00 pm
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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Paul Konerko reiterated Sunday that no decisions about his future have been made.

Though he won’t reveal his plans until after the 2013 season concludes, the White Sox slugger has considered life after baseball.

Konerko, who has blasted 415 homers with the Sox, is headed into the final season of a three-year contract and has been flooded with questions on whether or not he’ll retire, return to the White Sox in 2014 or play elsewhere. Prodded thoroughly, Konerko -- who turns 37 on March 5 -- said it’s only rational to prepare for retirement so he’s not caught off-guard.

“It’s going to happen,” said Konerko, who hit .298 with 26 homers and 75 RBIs last season. “All my tight friends that I played with coming up are out of the game. I see what the other side is and there are pluses and minuses to that. I pick their brains on it. But you got to prepare. ... I’m not afraid of that. I’m not scared of it. I just want to go as hard as I can until it happens.”

Konerko admits 2012 was difficult from an injury standpoint. But he’s not concerned because of the injury types; instead he’s in search of a four-leaf clover or a horseshoe.

Konerko required surgery on his left wrist in October and dealt with a sore back, but the two injuries that derailed his season were of the freak variety. Konerko was hit in the face by a Jeff Samardzija pitch in May and suffered a concussion in August when he caught a forearm to the temple.

“You kind of feel yourself getting cranked up and then you get knocked down,” Konerko said. “I kind of felt like I was starting from scratch a few times during the season, which is not what you want. … They weren’t bad or chronic (injuries) or anything like that. There were a couple of moments, like when I got hit in the face or the elbow, where it was at moments of the season when you want to keep it going or keep it cranking and it put you at a standstill. I didn’t like that, but that’s just part of the game. Its luck really is all it is. Hopefully it just doesn’t get you.”

In part, Konerko won’t announce his plans because he doesn’t want distractions to get him. Performance will play into his decision as will the way he feels. Even though his future is uncertain, Konerko has been here before and doesn’t sound concerned.

“Like I said in the past, setting a finish line I’m not a big believer in because you always have a tendency to let up,” Konerko said. “But I’m aware of everything as well. When you get to be nowadays in your 30s in the major leagues, let alone mid 30s or late 30s, it’s always on the table that your last year could be coming because everything is coming so much younger and the rosters shows that. I’m aware of that. But it’s something that will be talked about after the season, regardless of how the season goes. It’s something I’ll address when the time comes.”