Konerko, Dunn keep getting asked if ’13 will be their last year
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter September 4, 2013 9:35PM
Updated: September 7, 2013 8:26PM
NEW YORK — Wednesday was a day to break out the retirement calculator.
It’s September, and the White Sox are closing a black curtain on a dreadful season.
The Sox are looking forward to forgetting about baseball and starting the NFL season as much as you are, especially the veterans.
A couple of their biggest stars are well into the back nine of their baseball careers. Adam Dunn will be 34 in the final year of his contract next season, and Paul Konerko would be 38 if he decides to keep on playing.
Dunn created a little stir by repeating his “the day I stop having fun is the day I walk away’’ soliloquy Tuesday. Konerko, who has made it clear he won’t discuss his future till the end of the season, had to be asked about it after a national writer tweeted that Konerko is telling friends he wants to keep playing.
“Apparently, everybody is retiring or some people aren’t retiring,’’ manager Robin Ventura said with a grin before the Sox tried to stop a five-game losing streak against the Yankees.
Konerko was asked if he had made a decision with 25 games left.
“No,’’ he said. “When the time comes when I hash it all out, we’ll find out, but it’s not now.’’
Konerko, the team’s highly respected captain and leader and the franchise’s No. 2 home-run hitter and RBI man, has retreated from his normal production levels since the midpoint of last season. He was batting .244 with 10 homers and 46 RBI in 105 games going into Wednesday’s game. His contract is up after the season, and the Sox are looking to get younger, not older.
“He doesn’t have as much power as he used to have,’’ Ventura said. “He’s gotten better as of late as far as his approach and what he wants to do when he goes to the plate. He’s better off right now than he was a month ago.’’
At least one player in the clubhouse is certain Konerko will return.
“He’s coming back,’’ Dunn said. “No doubt. I’d be shocked if he didn’t.’’
There were some in the clubhouse who said only Konerko, because of his stature, should do the talking on the subject.
“He’s going to know more of that than anybody else,’’ Ventura said. “It’s getting through the rest of the year and then you can evaluate that. It’s going to be more of how he gets through this year and what he’s feeling for him to make up his own mind.’’
As for Dunn, Ventura said he expects to see him back next year — in a Sox uniform.
“I don’t see Dunn going anywhere,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘I think those are just things you talk about. He’s probably at a point in his career where you can bring the subject up about when is the right time, when isn’t it, but I fully expect him to be in spring training with us.’’
Konerko has a World Series ring. Dunn has never been to the postseason. Either way, losing like this stinks.
“As far back in the standings as we are, it’s tough to play games every night that you know probably have no effect — other than knowing you went out and did it right,’’ Konerko said.
“It’s always tough to put the losing aside. You have to come in each day and find something to get yourself going. We have a job to do. We get paid money to give what we have every night and do it right. There are a lot of people that would love to trade spots with us. We’re definitely not on the verge of clinching, so obviously everything is tougher. It’s just less fun.’’