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Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Paul Konerko snag: Who's to blame?

By Doug Padilla

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -– So who should be blamed now that it appears the White Sox-Paul Konerko negotiations are starting to fall apart?

The White Sox did some major work to move money around, with Adam Dunn and A.J. Pierzynski even deferring money to help make a Konerko deal possible. So is this all on the Konerko camp?

On the other hand, the White Sox signed Dunn for an average salary of $14 million a year, and then went to their franchise player, who is equally productive and certainly a more disciplined hitter, and asked him to reportedly take less per year. Is this the White Sox’s doing?

Ultimately could the White Sox’s honesty be to blame? Nobody made general manager Ken Williams say that Konerko’s re-signing wasn’t just a goal, it would be the team’s main focus after Dunn. It excited the fan base. Now the air is rushing out of the balloon.

It feels like all that excitement that came with the Dunn signing has evaporated now. Manager Ozzie Guillen said he won’t even bother naming a captain if Konerko doesn’t return.

Konerko might look like the bad guy for apparently wanting to tap into money the team needs to still rebuild the bullpen. But his side was intent on going to the winter meetings to explore its options and these winter meetings still have another full day remaining on Wednesday.

The White Sox now need to consider Plan B, C and D so they aren’t left out in the cold.

Strictly looking at this as a business deal, it didn’t have to be so public. The White Sox turned the spotlight toward home plate and invited everybody to watch. They just envisioned hitting a home run, not striking out.

All is not lost. If Konerko doesn’t come back the White Sox can still get a decent first baseman and a quality reliever. It just doesn’t carry the same impact that Konerko’s return would have.