Just like old times: Konerko has thoughts
Through the first weeks of the season, Paul Konerko has kept a very low profile.
That’s understandable, considering the White Sox only faced two left-handed starting pitchers through their first 15 games. Konerko started only one of those games, but he’s in the lineup tonight vs. Boston lefty Jon Lester.
Konerko is actually starting at first base in place of the slumping Jose Abreu, who has 1 hit in his last 20 at-bats.
The Sox’ captain seemed to talk before just about every game when he was a regular player, and he held court again on Thursday.
Here are some highlights:
On the difficultly of going from full-time to part-time play:
“I don't know the answer because we're kind of at the beginning of it,” Konerko said. “I'll probably have a better true answer later in the year or when it's all over because I think constantly, you're changing as you go, you're learning as you go. But in the games I don't play, I don't get into, you're dialed in.
“In almost every game we've had, I've been on the verge of hitting, on the verge of getting in the game. So you're prepared from about the fifth inning on. I'd say the first three or four innings feel like a normal off day bur from about the fifth inning through the rest of the game, you're paying attention to everything. Every guy that gets up in the bullpen, every pitch that's thrown, every score, you're really paying attention. So my switch is never really off.”
On the White Sox’ 8-7 start:
“I think we knew in spring training that we had kind of a different vibe going, so it's nice to see that,” Konerko said. “But you never really know once the season starts if that's going to continue, because everybody feels great in spring training about who they have and what they're doing. So it's nice to see some of the validation with some of the thoughts you had about going into the season.
“You know, we're the underdogs. No one's really on us or picking us or thinks we're really any good. We're going to have to play good for a long time for them to say anything, and that's assuming we even care what people say. The way I look at is we've got a shot tonight to win a series against the defending world champions. That can be a nice feather in our cap, let's go out and do it.”
On the Sox’ bullpen, which was bad again Wednesday night:
“I think the guys that are involved, they're guys that have short memories,” Konerko said. “I don't think any of our starters, if they go out and have a good start and they don't get the win out of it, they're not the kind of guys that get down on that. They know what they can control and what they can't.
“And our bullpen guys, it's a good group of guys that don't … you give them the ball tonight and you feel, you don't know how it's ever going to go out there, but they're not carrying baggage in from the game before. I think that's all you can ask for with anybody out there. No one can tell the future and how it's going to go. When you hit the field all you hope is that you're getting that person's best that night and they're not carrying any negatives from the days before. I think the guys in our bullpen, their make-up is pretty good like that. You just trust them and move on.”