White Sox notes: Konerko nears return

White Sox notes: Konerko nears return
June 30, 2013, 1:45 pm
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Vinnie Duber

White Sox notes: Dealing with trade rumors

Though White Sox general manager Rick Hahn refused to address any specific trade rumors when he met the media Sunday, they are there nonetheless.

So the question then became, how do players handle the barrage of reports that say they might be heading to a new team?

“There's a lot of distractions and that's always the case and this will just be one more thing that, on a daily basis, there's going to start to be rumors and there already have been,” first baseman Paul Konerko said. “It's really on each player's shoulders. Some guys handle it well. Some guys don't.”

Konerko said that, with the current group of players in the Sox clubhouse, he doesn’t see anyone letting it affect the team. But he also mentioned that it’s pretty apparent what could be coming over the course of the next month before the trade deadline.

“It doesn't take a genius to think of the guys that we have ... anybody that's older that's coming up on their last year or is making money is in that conversation that Rick is talking about,” Konerko said. “So, whether it be a Jesse Crain or a Matt Lindstrom or an Adam Dunn or any of these guys. I just named three of them ... myself, anybody, I don't see at any time any of those guys bringing their situation or their uncomfortableness with it or anything about it into the picture of the game that day.

“If that's the way it goes and it winds up that they wind up trading a bunch of guys and it goes that way, as a team we have to look at it like we earned that, because we're 80 games in and we're at where we're at.”

Manager Robin Ventura was asked about players joking about potentially being traded, and he commented that it’s a helpful way to relieve some of the tension when it comes to that situation.

“There is some of that that goes on. It’s inevitable at any time a guy’s name is going to come up or rumors that guys are going to joke around,” Ventura said. “Some guys handle that better than others. Some guys that doesn’t bother them, and some guy it does affect the way they play and it is a distraction for some people so you have to make sure you focus.

“It is (relieving tension) to an extent. I think if you sit and don’t talk about it or joke about it, it probably builds up and becomes worse. There are a lot of things that fly around that are probably untouchable or off limits outside of a locker room that happens in there so it’s not that different.”

Konerko sits again with back injury

White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko has only played in 66 of the team’s 78 games this season, and he sat out game No. 79, as well.

For the sixth straight contest, Konerko was out the lineup, nursing a back injury.

"It's probably similar to (Saturday), only because I did a lot of work (Saturday). But I know I'm kind of on the way up and out of it,” Konerko said. “I think no doubt Tuesday night, for sure, I'll play. But it feels good. I'm going to do another session during the game (Sunday). Part of it, again, is that the soreness isn't bad and all that ... but obviously you want to take swings. I haven't swung a bat in five, six days until yesterday, so you can't really judge it on how you are swinging it sometimes, because you would look bad anyways if you haven't swung for a few days. There's still a little soreness on the follow through, a little bit. I feel like that will be gone by Tuesday and whatever's left, I know I'll still feel something, but whatever's left I feel like, in the days right around then ... I'll get it out of there by playing probably."

White Sox manager Robin Ventura also said that Konerko would likely play Tuesday and added that he could serve as a pinch-hitter Sunday. When asked if Konerko put up a fight when told he’d be sitting out another day, Ventura laughed.

“I don’t know about fight,” Ventura said. “You have a discussion about it and make sure he’s alright with it. We want him to be 100 percent when he comes back and he’s getting to that point right now.”

Adam Dunn got the start at first base in Sunday’s series finale with the Indians.