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Gordon Beckham isn’t jumping to take Paul Konerko’s leadership role

TUESDAY

Tigers AT WHITE SOX

The facts: 7:10 p.m., Ch. 26, 670-AM, 97.5-FM.

The starters: Max Scherzer
(17-1, 2.84 ERA) vs. Hector Santiago (3-7, 3.43).

Updated: August 12, 2013 10:29PM



Growing speculation about Paul Konerko’s future put the pregame focus on Gordon Beckham, generally considered an heir apparent of sorts for the leadership role.

Beckham, who will turn 27 in September, didn’t exactly jump at the notion of being that guy, mainly out of respect for Konerko.

“If Paul wants to play, he’ll play,’’ Beckham said Monday. “Obviously, that’s a decision for him after the season. He’s got a lot more left in the tank, so I wouldn’t rule him out of playing next year. If he doesn’t, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, but I think he’s got a while yet.’’

Manager Robin Ventura said he wouldn’t assign Konerko’s captain title to another player in the event Konerko, whose contract expires after the season, isn’t with the team. Asked if he would be comfortable in a leadership role, Beckham said, “There’s just not any reason for me to talk about that. He’s the guy.’’

Jake Peavy and Matt Thornton were veteran voices on the pitching staff before being traded last month.

“Everything starts evolving into something else because those guys have been a big factor throughout the years they’ve been here,’’ Ventura said. “It changes, and it morphs probably weekly.’’

Beckham is capable of stepping up as a leader. He also has to maintain a level of quality play.

“I’m not going to make him the guy,’’ Ventura said. “It’s who’s here and how it evolves, but he definitely has the qualities to do that.’’

Viciedo out, but can he recruit?

Results of Dayan Viciedo’s MRI exam showed no damage, and the left fielder said his left thumb felt better Monday. He still remained out of the lineup.

Viciedo, who’s from Cuba, said he would try to recruit 26-year-old slugging first baseman Jose Abreu, who ­defected from Cuba and is expected to receive big money from a major-league team.

“Yes, absolutely,” a smiling Viciedo said. “He’s got a really good bat. He can hit. I remember that. I know he’s a good player, but more than anything, I remember he has a good bat.’’

Abreu hit .453 with 33 home runs and 93 RBI in 66 games in 2011. He hit .360 with three homers and nine RBI in the recent World Baseball Classic. There already is speculation he could receive a $50 million deal.

He (still) gone

Broadcaster Ken Harrelson was unable to work the game Monday because of illness for the second consecutive day. Tom Paciorek joined Steve Stone in the booth again.

Email: dvanschouwen@suntimes.com

Twitter: CST_soxvan



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