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Gordon Beckham thrilled that Paul Konerko returned for one more year

Updated: March 20, 2014 6:35AM

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Gordon Beckham is glad that Paul Konerko is returning for one more year. Not just because Konerko is one of his best friends — Konerko stood up in Beckham’s wedding in the offseason — but because he wanted to see the Sox star go through the league knowing this will be it.

“I wanted him to come back for one more year,’’ Beckham said. “I think he deserves it. I think baseball deserves it. He would never say that, but I think he needs a little bit of a victory lap. I feel like he is one of the most unsung guys in the big leagues for as good as he is. I think he deserves at least to be recognized throughout the year. He doesn’t want that, but as his friend and a guy that respects what he has done, he deserves that.’’

Beckham’s locker is next to Konerko’s familiar corner spot. Now a veteran and no longer the kid player we’ve always thought of, Beckham said he has learned from observing.

“He’s just taught me how to work, how to be a big-leaguer every day, and his routine was one of the things you caught onto early,’’ Beckham said. “He always has the same routine; he is always doing the same thing because that’s what gets him ready day in and day out. That’s one small thing I have learned from him. But he’s a great friend. There’s a great friendship there, and it will be good to have one more year of that.’’

Without going into specifics, Beckham added muscle in the offseason, as he normally does, and did some work “to prevent some lingering stuff that I was dealing with last year.’’

“I’m in a good spot, and
everything feels good,’’ he said. “I just have to stay healthy. If I can stay healthy, I can do what I am capable of.’’

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