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The Captain Will Go Down With the Ship: Paul Konerko Returns for 2014

Felipe Melecio questions why the White Sox would bring back an aging player who will spend a lot of time riding the bench.

Paul Konerko

On the other hand, at least retaining Konerko for one more year adds to the ever-growing list of players that Reinsdorf has gone out of his way to build a great rapport. The perception that Reinsdorf and his executives mistreat players has been proven to be a major falsehood, but the myth continues to live on as many in the city and across the country believe that he played a major role in dismantling the Chicago Bulls’ dynasty of the 1990s and forcing the exile of the greatest player to have ever played the game of basketball, Michael Jordan. Again, that’s only part of a long, complicated story between the management and the team’s players and coaches. A story that has been oversimplified and misrepresented by professional nitwit, Skip Bayless throughout his years as sports journalism’s greatest cancer.

If anything, Reinsdorf’s treatment of former team catcher, Carlton Fisk was more of an abrupt end compared to his “mistreatment” of Jordan when the team would sign the legend to one-year, $30 million contracts as Jordan rode his career into the sunset (all the way to the bank) as his abrupt end to his NBA career was “cut short” by a cigar cutter, although Jordan refused to acknowledge his off-the-court finger injury as a reason his Bulls’ chapter came to a sudden end. Luckily for Reinsdorf, he can go much easier on Konerko than he ever did on Jordan.

As mentioned, the list of former players that Reinsdorf and company has helped to obtain roles with both the Bulls and White Sox is a pretty substantial one with former third baseman, Robin Ventura getting the managerial job for the White Sox despite no previous managing experience. Reinsdorf also promoted former Bulls’ player John Paxson from the radio booth to the General Manager position. The team would replace Paxson’s old position as the team’s radio color analyst with former Bulls’ center, Bill Wennington. And the list, like a terrible Journey song, goes on and on and on and on.

But whether Reinsdorf is trying to amend for past mistakes or trying very hard to continually preserve his public image, it just doesn’t make sense in the grand scheme of things. As much as I appreciate the nostalgia factor for 2014, the classy move by the organization, and Konerko realizing his new role as a bench guy, there’s just simply too many things to improve on this ballclub to keep an open spot to a player that will be acting more like dead weight than be a regular contributor next season.

Nonetheless, leave it up to this franchise to make a transaction that lacks any semblance of baseball logic. The White Sox are notorious for refusing to utilize sabermetrics, especially former GM Kenny Williams. Plus they have TV broadcast clown, “The Hawk” Ken Harrelson as he is being used as virtually the organization’s mouthpiece in not only voicing the front office’s rejection of advanced statistics, but also contributing to the dumbing down of the next generation of White Sox fans who have bought into his elementary, but full of horse manure philosophy of TWTW, or “The Will To Win.” Evidently, the White Sox lacked a lot of TWTW, going 63-99 in 2013 and finishing in last place in the American League Central, three games behind the Minnesota Twins. 

Luckily for Konerko, he will not be the main problem on this team next year as the White Sox need an upgrade on virtually every position on the field. Heck, even at his advanced age, he still has the most advanced approach at the plate on this team. I’ve always been a fan and have always appreciated his contributions to bringing back the World Series to Chicago. But that was then and this is now. And just like my old Paul Konerko t-shirt, it just doesn’t look like a good fit anymore.

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