Paul Konerko out of White Sox lineup with bruised kneecap
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter September 25, 2013 5:06PM
Chicago White Sox's Paul Konerko hits a single against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of a baseball game on Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles)
Updated: September 25, 2013 6:26PM
CLEVELAND -- White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko won’t play against the Cleveland Indians Wednesday because of a bruised right kneecap suffered when he fouled a pitch off his knee during the eighth inning of Tuesday’s 5-4 loss.
Konerko said it was “kind of embarrassing to foul a ball off your back leg.”
The 37-year-old first baseman, who is second on the franchise’s all-time home run and RBI lists, is batting .248 with 11 homers and 53 RBI in 122 games. He said he expects to play when the Sox host the Kansas City Royals in a four-game season-ending series at U.S. Cellular Field.
Konerko has said throughout the season that he won’t discuss his future till after the season, but is expected to address it to some extent Friday in Chicago, possibly to reveal a timetable for his decision. His contract is up after the season.
As the Sox front office plans for next season, they will want to know sooner rather than later if Konerko will retire or wants to play.
At 62-95 with five games remaining, the Sox need to win one to avoid a 100-loss season. Konerko has defended manager Robin Ventura throughout the season and continued to do so Wednesday.
“We’ve put him in a tough spot all year,’’ Konerko said.
“The fact that he’s held it together with what he’s had to witness all year, with the rest of the coaches, I could tell you there probably are a lot of staffs and managers that this could have been really bad with what happened. But hopefully this is the last time he has to go through something like this.
“There are certain years I don’t think it matters who manages, good and bad. There are some teams that have it going and they are off and running and everything just kind of clicks. Then there’s this year, where it’s the polar opposite of that.
“We never really got to any point in the season where it felt like the staff could implement stuff they wanted to do. We never really got it going. The work was there. Guys worked early. There’s a lot of early work. There’s a lot of early ground balls. All that kind of stuff.
“The work is there. From a competitive standpoint, I feel bad that as a team we really didn’t let those guys kind of enjoy being a manager or being coaches because we were never in it really. We were out of it the whole way. It’s tough.’’