Hes about to enter the final season of his contract and Paul Konerko intends to do so with a realistic approach.
The White Sox slugger, who turns 37 in March, isnt sure whether he wants to play in 2014 or where he might be if he does choose to return. With no certainty to any of it, Konerko has already identified his game plan on his future. Prior to the start of Sox Fest on Friday, Konerko said he plans to not to cheat his teammates this season --- his focus is purely about the season ahead.
You know at some point your career is going to end, said Konerko, a six-time All-Star who enters 2013 with 422 career home runs. I dont know right now. My thing is just have a solid season and do my job. Thats all it boils down to. I signed a contract to do a job and I want to make sure I do what I signed up for. That has nothing to do with the other distractions of What are you going to do? If I spend time thinking and talking about that stuff Im not doing what Im supposed to be doing for this team.
Konerko was last in this position in December 2010.
Hes experienced friends, family and media asking whether or not he wants to continue playing and where he might end up. He knows hell face them again.
As if he hadnt already been made aware to the business aspect of the game, Konerko admits his guard is already up after he watched in consecutive offseasons as Mark Buerhle and A.J. Pierzynski departed via free agency even though both hoped to return.
So even though he wont know whether or not he wants to play again until after this season, Konerko sounds prepared to roll with whatever comes.
How Im going to feel seven months from now, what I think, I cant project, Konerko said. There are so many moving points that factor in that decision --- kids, family, teams, body. I could not possibly factor all of those decisions now and project it out because I cant do it.