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Paul Konerko hasn’t been asked about whether the team needs improving, but he gave his answer to the question to Joe Cowley:
”Right now, the answer is no because we’re playing that well,” Konerko said. ”Chances are we’re not going to play at a 26-5 clip over the next few months. It’s just not going to happen. I would imagine the hard part for a general manager is to try and see the future and bolster something that doesn’t need it at this moment.
”You look at this team, and I think everyone has a lot of respect for the guy next to him because of where we were and where we are right now. I think it would be tough to say that anybody should be replaced. I think everyone kind of has the feeling in here that, ‘Let’s take it to the end, win or lose with this group, and if we don’t get there, we don’t get there.’ Everyone in here deserves the crack — and I mean everybody deserves it because we’ve dug ourselves out of it — to try and pull it off without getting help.”
And then they went and only put up two runs in a flat performance against Carl Pavano, who, to his credit, did command both sides of the plate pretty well.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Konerko would say this. For one, he did the same thing a few years ago. On June 18, 2007, with the White Sox at 29-37 and 10 1/2 games back, Kenny Williams met with Konerko and Ozzie Guillen. Konerko didn’t talk about the meeting, but Williams shared a little bit.
From a Chicago Tribune story that day:
“One of the things that I talked to Paul Konerko about — and I brought him into our meeting because I wanted a player’s perspective on this thing — was, ‘Do you guys still believe you can win? If you believe you can win, I’m more inclined to stick with it, to ride this thing out, and if we have to go down with the ship, we’ll go down together.’
“He expressed to me that this team can still win. But we’ve got to start to come together in a lot of facets in a very short period of time.”
That day, the White Sox started one player with an OPS above .750 (Jim Thome), and the box score features a bunch of players who would become enjoyable references in time (Jerry Owens, Luis Terrero, Nick Masset, right-handed Ryan Bukvich).
It’s probably safe to say that Konerko doesn’t have a great track record on judging these things. Then again, as the team captain, what’s he supposed to say?
I think we’re OK right now, but we definitely need some help. I’m not convinced Mark Kotsay is viable and Carlos Quentin can stay healthy, and third base is a mess. Why did we extend Teahen again?
Ballplayers are supposed to have short memories for bad games and stretches, while remembering the things that make them successful. “One day at a time” is cliché for a reason, and of course they’re not going to have the most well-rounded perspective, captain or not.
Sure, the White Sox have been hot. Sure, it seems like losing two in a row shouldn’t happen anymore. But while there are genuine reasons why the Sox were able to turn it around with a 26-5 stretch, there’s also a reason why they started the season 24-33. Both need to carry equal weight at this point in the season.
So maybe 2007 is why Konerko hasn’t been consulted yet, and that would be a positive step. Nothing against the captain, but considering this organization has had too many people doing each other’s jobs over the last couple offseasons, a clearer division of labor is welcome.
Minor league roundup:
- Durham 2, Charlotte 1
- Stefan Gartrell went 3-for-4 with a solo homer.
- Tyler Flowers walked once and struck out twice over four PAs.
- Brent Morel and Jeremy Reed (two K’s) were both 0-for-4.
- Jacksonville 7, Birmingham 4
- Kyle Bellamy took the loss in his Double-A debut, allowing a run (solo homer) on two hits and two walks over two innings, striking out one.
- Christian Marrero and Justin Greene both went 1-for-4 with a K.
- Eduardo Escobar walked and struck out over four PAs.
- Charlie Shirek’s struggles continue: 3 1/3 IP, 5 H, 4 Er, 1 BB, 4 K.
- Salem 10, Winston-Salem 9
- It’s not often a team pounds out 23 hits and loses, but the Dash did it.
- Jon Gilmore went 3-for-6 with a double and a strikeout.
- Brandon Short was 2-for-5 with an RBI and a strikeout.
- Jose Martinez doubled and struck out over five PAs.
- Elizabethton 5, Bristol 2 (Game 1, 7 innings)
- Jacob Petricka struck out six over five innings without a walk. He allowed two runs on six hits.
- Elizabethton 2, Bristol 0 (Game 2, 7 innings)
- Rangel Ravelo was 0-for-3.
- Great Falls 12, Casper 6
- Nice game for Ryan Lee: 4-for-6 with a homer and two RBI.
- Andy Wilkins homered, walked and struck out twice over six PAs.
- Kannapolis vs. Lakewood PPD