Konerko, Hahn look to the future
Busy day on the South Side.
On Friday afternoon, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn talked about the miserable season that ends Sunday and looked ahead to the future.
Later, Paul Konerko addressed his future.
Let's start with Konerko.
Given his subpar season (.248, 12 home runs, 54 RBI), age (37) and health (he missed a month with a sore lower back), I thought retirement was pretty much a slam-dunk.
But after listening to Konerko lay out his options, I changed my mind a bit. Konekro said he might be open to playing one more season, even though he's had no formal talks with the Sox.
"Every season I've played before this, and when I say every season I mean since I was like 7, that I knew I would play the next year," Konerko said. "I feel like if I do play, the one thing I can give you of any substance today probably would be that if I do play next year, that will probably be it. So that's really what it boils down to."
As I first reported last week, Konerko is going to head home after the season wraps up Sunday and he's not likely to make a decision until early November.
"You only get to go through these kinds of things once, a career once, so you try to rely on advice from other people," said Konerko, who has played for the White Sox since 1999. "You try to talk to the people who have been through it. The majority of them are always, 'If you can play, play. Do it the way you want to do it. Go back to the drawing board. Go get 'em.' And I get all of that.
"The other side of it is, this is how careers are supposed to end. Not everybody gets to do it exactly how they want to do it. It's supposed to kind of be not the best because that's what closes you out. When you say, 'OK, I've had enough of that, and they've had enough of me.' So I can see it both directions. I can tell you more of me is the first one. And the advice I get is more the first scenario, but that doesn't mean it's right either. Going back to what I said, when that choice is put in front of me, if it is, that's probably when I'll have to think harder about it. We're kind of talking now like it is."
-Hahn said he's looking forward on getting the right roster pieces in place for 2014.
"We have to get better, and we have to get better quickly,” Hahn said. “I feel like we're in a very good position from a pitching standpoint. Given the starting pitching that we already have under control, whatever turnaround or restoration or whatever you want to call it that needs to take place here, we hope to minimize the amount of time that takes. Quite frankly, getting a guy like Avisail Garcia at the trade deadline shortens that time horizon as well. So, we're going to enter this off-season knowing very well that we have multiple areas where we need to improve.
“Our desire is to make that improvement and get this right as quickly as possible. However, we're not going to do anything that's simply going to be a band-aid approach that's simply going to move the arrow slightly upward for 2014 so that I can sit here a year from now and tell you, 'Hey, we won seven more games, so we're headed the right direction.' Instead, we're going to make moves, whether they're via free agency or trade, that continues to feed this effort towards long-term success and having something that's sustainable. It's not going to be any band-aid type restoration or repairs. If we do wind up signing free agents on shorter-term deals, part of that may well be simply so that we allow prospects more time to develop, and they're not forced into a position that they're not quite ready for.”