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White Sox’ Omar Vizquel not ready to quit at 44

Updated: November 30, 2011 12:16AM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Future Hall of Famer Omar Vizquel knows he’s nearing the end of the line in Chicago.

He hopes it’s not the end in baseball, even though he’s 44.

“I would love to have an opportunity to play another year,’’ Vizquel, a three-time All-Star and 11-time Gold Glove shortstop, said Thursday. “I’m not expecting to play every day but I think I have the ability to play.

That belief for Vizquel is reinforced when he looks not only at teammates but players on other teams, and doesn’t see much life in their bodies.

“I feel 35,’’ Vizquel said. “I look at players on this team who are around that age or less. You look at them playing . . . the body language is not what you like to see. I don’t think I have that kind of body language and I don’t like to show it even if I’m tired. I feel great. I still have the passion, still have the legs.’’

Vizquel is as surprised and disappointed as anyone about the Sox’s performance.

“Who’s to blame? You have to blame yourself as a player. . . . A couple guys are having great years, but we don’t look good on the field, at all. Maybe for a series or two, but we never sustained anything.

“When you don’t win, you have to make changes. That’s one of the reasons I doubt I will be here next year.’’

Baby steps

Call it a case of too little, too late, but Alex Rios’ bat showed enough life to earn him swings in the cleanup spot against Royals lefty Jeff Francis. Rios was 17-for-51 (.333) in his last 12 games, raising his average to .224.

“It’s the best I’ve felt all year,’’ Rios said. “I’m trying to hit wherever the ball is pitched. I am trying to cover the whole plate, which I would like to carry over to next year.”


Paul Konerko was a homer shy of his fifth season with 30 homers and 100 RBI. ... The Sox have lost seven times when leading after eight innings.

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