By Paul Roumeliotis
It's no secret that Paul Konerko's future with the White Sox remains uncertain. Konerko, who has played the last 15 seasons in the black and white uniform, is exiting his final year under contract with the team. The first basemen sat down with Jesse Spector from The Sporting News to discuss his past, present and even some fantasies.
If there's one person Konerko would trade places with for a day, it'd be Derek Jeter. "He's the man," he said. Konerko joked around saying that he'd love to play shortstop for a day, but understands it probably won't happen. Konerko, 37, has spent his entire White Sox career playing first base with an occasional look at designated hitter.
Despite being drafted as a catcher in the 1994 draft, the former first round pick "certainly" doesn't miss the position at all. Konerko claims he wasn't good at it which made it more painful for him. Along with that, having had bad hips made his decision to convert to first base a lot easier.
In regards to the DH rule, Konerko is in favor -- of the often criticized role -- because the excitement is higher, especially for the fans. It's nice to see another "good" hitter rather than seeing the common strategy of walking the 8-hole batter to bring up the pitcher.
As for himself, choosing to play first base over DH will "always" be his answer. Konerko has seen many games in the DH spot this season due to a nagging lower back injury.
The White Sox have 20 games remaining this season with what could be the last of the final member of 2005 championship team. Konerko has knocked 432 home runs in his career, 425 with the White Sox, which ranks sixth among active players. If, however, Konerko agrees to ink a new deal with the south side, he will have an opportunity to surpass Frank Thomas' team record of 448 home runs. Following Thomas' departure after the 2005 World Series victory, Konerko has served as team captain ever since.