TUCSON, Ariz. – In a spring training camp with very little news thus far, Paul Konerko finally provided some.
Speaking with the Sun-Times over the weekend, the team captain admitted that he “dropped the ball’’ last year in the leadership department, stating, “I mean by July and August, you can go out there and get the best leader in the history of sports to come in and there is nothing he can say at that point. But there were some instances early on that I definitely think I dropped the ball on, I could have said something or did something that who knows, maybe it would have changed the direction.’’
The Sox were a dismal 72-90 last season, and Konerko said he will do everything in his power to make sure that doesn’t happen again. That includes laying down some rules with his teammates near the end of spring camp.
“We’ll do that at the end of spring training when the numbers get down. It will be pretty simple, just, ‘Hey listen, these are a few things that last year might have gotten away from us, things we saw on the bus, things on the plane, and we’re going to be tighter on this stuff.’ Little things to make sure we’re a little more focused on the game.’’
Not that Konerko is planning to go all “Truth-osaurus,’’ and play bad cop like Carl Everett. Far from it. The fact remains that Konerko still feels the best way to lead is by his actions.
“Show up, do your work, get ready for the game, give good at-bats,’’ Konerko added. “Anything you say can’t equal that kind of stuff.
“I think the key is that if it looks, talks and acts like last year, we jump on it and say, ‘Hey, we went down that road before and I saw this go from this, and then turn into this.’ You live and learn.’’