Konerko likes competitiveness of White Sox
April, 11, 2012
By Bruce Levine | ESPNChicago.com
Jason Miller/Getty ImagesPaul Konerko has been impressed with the way Robin Ventura has handled the staff.CLEVELAND -- This has been Paul Konerko's team since 2005, and from the perspective of the White Sox captain this season's team may be better than most people think.
"It's still early, but everyone in here shows up every day ready to compete," Konerko said. "In Texas we played a good series against maybe the best team in the league and we were in every inning." The Rangers won 2 of 3.
This is Konerko's thirteenth season with the club and he remembers other Opening Days when expectations for the team were low.
"I think we are a scrappy team, and that is a good attitude to have," he said. "I think we are going to show up every day and play the kind of ball our fans will like. Focus will be something we will have on this team, if that means more wins than losses we will have to see."
The team as a whole is impressed with the way first-year manager Robin Ventura has handled the young bullpen.
"I believe managing a bullpen is one of the toughest things about the job if you never did it before," Konerko said. "The way it's worked out the first week it looks easy for him. Right now the pen has been outstanding, but it will be tested at some point."
Konerko has some great memories from Opening Days, but one in particular stands out for the 35-year-old star.
"(The) 2006 (Opening Day) is one that I will always remember," he said. "Coming off winning a championship we added Jimmy (Thome) and he hit a big home run late in the game, the energy was fantastic that night."
Konerko became the second-leading White Sox player in runs scored on Wednesday, trailing only Frank Thomas. He is just four short of 400 career home runs.