You learn that baseball seasons are eternal for the first time as a child, when a five-game winning streak gives way to multiple losses and everything you thought you learned about your favorite team over the course of said winning streak is promptly smashed to pieces by a hillbilly with a banjo.This idea was only reinforced to me upon hearing Paul Konerko's guilt-ridden comments on his turn on the AL's Final Vote ballot for the 2011 All-Star Game.
At age 35, Konerko is 1,933 games into his career as a professional -- that's 861 games more than Michael Jordan ever played on the hardwood. At this point, he'd probably prefer a few days of rest with his family instead of doing the All-Star thing -- where the always annoying media swarms harder than ever, where the game doesn't count even if the slogan says it does, where you may only get to see a pitch or two, if that. But Konerko has proven himself to be nothing but gracious during his White Sox tenure, from handing over the final out ball to Jerry Reinsdorf after the 2005 World Series or the small but important hometown discount he gave the Sox weeks after.
He's at it again. Comments, after the jump....
Via ESPN Chicago:
"The front office and the public relations people have done a great job," Konerko said. "I feel bad that every year our team seems to have to go through this big production. And they do a heck of a job. In fact people come in here on off days when they shouldn’t be working. And I definitely appreciate that."
On a day when the NBA and NFL are locked out, those words are nice to hear. It's a shame Konerko wasn't originally chosen for the All-Star Game considering his numbers are damn near MVP worthy, but his take on the situation may provide the most revealing look into the psyche of an aging star who might be better than ever in Year 14.