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posted: 9/23/2013 5:30 AM

Nobody knows, so it's time to give Konerko proper send-off

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  • Paul Konerko will be remembered as one of the most prolific offensive players the White Sox organization has ever known.

    Paul Konerko will be remembered as one of the most prolific offensive players the White Sox organization has ever known.
    Associated Press


I know I've written in the past about this topic and that others have done the same -- even more eloquently -- but I don't feel the slightest bit bad about being repetitive.

In one week, there's an excellent chance we'll be watching Paul Konerko's last game in a White Sox uniform.

The player with the second-most home runs, RBI and extra-base hits in Sox history, second only to Frank Thomas.

The player who crushed the most significant grand slam -- and one of the biggest home runs -- in franchise history.

Yes, it often happens that someone like me will gush over an athlete that doesn't quite deserve it, but this isn't one of those athletes.

Konerko will be remembered as one of the most prolific offensive players this organization has even known, and he did it with a level of class everyone should appreciate.

I think about 2007, when the contemporary opinion was that Konerko had reached the inevitable point in which his body just doesn't allow him to do what it used to.

But he followed that up with three good years, including two of the best of his career. And, to be fair, his 2007 and 2008 campaigns really weren't bad as he still produced above league averages.

Contrary to what I heard many say, Konerko was not done.

But this year may be different. He will turn 38 during spring training next season, and there has been a history of aches and strains, which certainly take a toll. The only question is whether that toll is at critical mass.

He has yet to say whether he considers this to be it for him, and he says he will wait until the off-season to decide. All we can really do is assume the next five home games will be his last here in Chicago.

Remember that send-off I talked about a few weeks ago? Well, one of the greatest White Sox ever could very well be at the end of a career, and this is the week to give him that send-off.

Something funny going on here:

In the American League this year, Chris Sale has had a top-five season.

Yet, in 29 starts, there has been just one team that he hasn't baffled: the Cleveland Indians.

In 4 outings against them, Sale has allowed 22 earned runs. Against every other team in baseball, he gave up 47 total. That means that in just four games against one team, Sale has given up nearly one-third of all the runs he has allowed.

With the exception of one isolated game against Texas in which the Rangers scored 8 runs, Sale had little trouble with any team except Cleveland.

That forced the Sox to consider the possibility the Indians have picked up on something in Sale's delivery that's tipping them off to what's coming next.

Pitching coach Don Cooper told me last week they're looking into it and that Cleveland's approach on Sale's changeup raised a collective eyebrow. Most teams are confused by it; the Indians seemed to be waiting for it.

Hopefully, it's something easily corrected.

•Chris Rongey is the host of the White Sox pregame and postgame shows on WSCR 670-AM The Score. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisRongey and at Subscriber Total Access members can email him questions each week via our online link.

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