When his playing days end -- and he very well could be headed into his final two months in a White Sox uniform if he's not traded -- Paul Konerko is going to have his uniform No. 14 retired at U.S. Cellular Field and he's going to get his statue.
Outside of Frank Thomas, Konerko is arguably the best hitter in Sox history, and he also has a World Series ring.
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He will be missed, especially by the media.
Few players in baseball are as skilled as articulating all aspects of the game, and Konerko delivered again after the White Sox lost to the Royals 4-2 in 12 innings Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field.
The 37-year-old captain was asked if all of the trade rumors leading up to Wednesday's nonwaiver deadline are responsible for the for the Sox' poor play on the field.
"Not really," Konerko said. "I mean, we were (lousy) before the rumors. That's a fact."
Konerko, who used a much stronger adjective than lousy, is right.
"Every now and then you catch a guy that doesn't get the business of it, but not in this clubhouse this year," Konerko said. "Everybody knows that's just part of the drill. Rumors of trades and all that are as part of the game as rain delays and whatever else. Guys know that, the guys we have in here know that. I haven't seen a guy not get ready for the game, not be prepared on the bench, anything like that. It's really not as big of an issue as most people think it is."
The trade deadline is rapidly approaching, but Konerko's not so sure the White Sox are going to make massive changes.
"It seems like there's not a lot of moves happening all over," he said. "I think there are a lot of things now that are changing the landscape of all this, when it comes to the draft, and it comes to locking young players up. There are just a million things that factor into these things. I think it's kind of a trend that's been happening.
"You just don't see the trades like you used to, for a lot of different reasons. There will probably be some, maybe we make one or two, I don't know, and there will probably be other ones as it comes down the line to Wednesday. But it's not like normal compared to like what it was five years ago or 10 years ago.
"I have a feeling that this is the way it's going to be. If you know the business side of it a little bit and if you just know some things on the inside and pay attention to it, people are just really holding on to their young prospects. They don't want to make deals where they give those guys up. So it kind of makes sense."
Bye, bye Jake:
Jake Peavy is very likely to be traded before Wednesday, and the White Sox' starter took a few extra suitcases with him on the trip to Cleveland.
The Athletics, Cardinals, Braves and Orioles are all rumored to be interested in the 32-year-old pitcher, so Peavy wants to be ready to move on fast.
"Well it's kind of becoming normal," Peavy said. "Honestly, if you guys put yourself in my position, it does me no good to sit around and contemplate what's going to happen. What I've heard, you can imagine what my phone's been like with texts from anybody and everybody. It's something that I really don't worry too much about.
"You just kind of let life happen and you react when something is set in stone. Of course you take it all in, the reality of the situation is this could be my last time in the clubhouse with the guys here at U.S. Cellular. But if it is, it is, if it wasn't, it wasn't. We'll just show up tomorrow ready to work in Cleveland."
In his first start since July 2, top pitching prospect Erik Johnson took the mound for Class AAA Charlotte on Sunday and allowed 1 run on 2 hits and 4 walks in 21⁄3 innings against Gwinnett. Johnson threw 66 pitches.
The right-hander was on the disabled list since July 4 with a strained groin.
If the White Sox trade Jake Peavy before his scheduled start at Cleveland on Tuesday night, Dylan Axelrod could come out of the bullpen and pitch against the Indians, or the Sox could call up Johnson or Andre Rienzo from Charlotte to replace Peavy.
Rienzo pitched a 7-inning no-hitter and struck out 11 against Indianapolis on Thursday. The right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA in his last 4 starts. Overall, he's 8-6 with a 4.06 ERA.