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White Sox might not be better, but they are definitely bigger

Updated: March 27, 2014 6:42AM



GLENDALE, Ariz. — Take a look around the White Sox’ clubhouse. The players are nothing if not large.

“No predictions, but I feel good in a bench-clearer,’’ Paul Konerko said with a grin. “I don’t know if we’ll win, but I don’t feel like we’ll get it taken to us.’’

How would Adam Dunn (6-6, 285), Jose Abreu (6-3, 255), Avisail Garcia (6-4, 240), Felipe Paulino (6-3, 270) and Tyler Flowers (6-4, 245) shape up as the first wave out of the Sox’ dugout in a bench-clearing fight? Konerko can almost see them in the NFL.

“I walked into the weight room, I thought I walked into the Bears’ offseason training facility,’’ he said.

For good measure, the Sox also have Donnie Veal (6-4, 235), Ronald Belisario, (6-3, 240), Mitchell Boggs (6-4, 234), Nate Jones (6-5, 210) and Dayan ‘‘Tank” Viciedo (5-11, 230) on the roster. The 6-2 Konerko doesn’t look big alongside them, but maybe he wants to — he worked hard in the weight room during the offseason, and at 227 pounds this spring, he’s about seven bigger than normal going into his final season.

“He’s a little stronger,’’ strength and conditioning coordinator Allen Thomas said. “He did a lot more power stuff this offseason, a lot more dead lifts and stuff to try to gain some power.’’

Konerko got off to a nice start in the Sox’ intrasquad game Tuesday, going 2-for-2 (two singles). John Danks announced afterward that Konerko was set to retire on that good note.

He was joking.

“I feel like I can do the same thing I’ve always done,’’ said Konerko, who was in a lighthearted mood after the scrimmage, joking about bench-clearing fights and his days as a catcher in a discussion about the new collision rule at home plate. “I think the question always as you get older is the volume of it.’’

Only 31 days left in camp, and for Konerko, one more season.

So far, so good.

“Paulie looks good,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. “Got a couple of hits, good first step.’’



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