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updated: 6/22/2011 11:03 PM

Konerko politely declines MVP talk

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  • Paul Konerko says it's way to early to start talking about him being an American League MVP candidate.

      Paul Konerko says it's way to early to start talking about him being an American League MVP candidate.
    Associated Press

 
 

Paul Konerko gets the media business better than most, and he's always available for questions.

But one in particular was a little too over the top Wednesday.

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It wasn't a bad question, but you just knew how Konerko was going to react when he was asked about the possibility of being the American League's MVP this season.

"I'm not even answering questions about that stuff," Konerko said before the White Sox wrapped up their three-game interleague series against the Cubs at U.S. Cellular Field. "That's ridiculous, sorry. I don't mean to not answer your question.

"That shouldn't be in anybody's interview in June, I don't think, regardless of what anyone is doing. That's how I feel about it."

As he should.

Nearly halfway through his 13th season with the Sox, Konerko has been around the game long enough to know he's one bad week from being labeled washed up at 35. Still, it's difficult not to get excited about the monster season the White Sox' first baseman is putting together.

Before going 0-for-3 and drawing an intentional walk in Wednesday night's 4-3 victory over the Cubs, Konerko ranked third in the American League in batting (.331) and was tied for second with 21 home runs and 59 RBI.

Oh, yeah, he also had a streak of five games with a home run, only the fifth player in club history to accomplish the feat.

Given the way he has been carrying the Sox' offense, Konerko realizes the attention is going to follow.

"You have to answer about what you do during the season," Konerko said. "It's part of the job. It's your job as a player to block out and keep tabs on what you are doing. You understand you have questions about tonight's game, tomorrow's game and maybe even last night's games and upcoming series and stuff like that.

"But some of the questions you have to just say you are not going to answer some of them, whether they pertain to you that day or whatever it might be that game.

"Not to use that as an example, but I mean the MVP decision will come out in November or December and we are talking about it in June. That makes no sense to me, at any level."

Hey, at least Konerko wasn't asked for his thoughts about being a Hall of Famer.

But there seems to be little doubt that he is taking his game to a special level at an age where most players are breaking down.

"As you get older, your body kind of lets you down a little more," said Konerko, who has been dealing with a wrist injury this season and hand soreness in past years.

"It's tough in that respect, but at the same time you are gaining information and knowledge. Hopefully if you use it right, that can be a positive and not a negative. As you get older, there are definitely some negatives from a physical standpoint."

sgregor@dailyherald.com

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