KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Paul Konerko hit his team-high 30th home run in the White Sox 10-5 victory against the Royals on Sunday. With 103 RBI, Konerko reached the 30-100 mark for the fifth time in his career. Only Frank Thomas with eight has more as a White Sox.
"It's one of those things where there's a balance of that's your job to drive in runs and drive the ball,'' Konerko said of the achievement. "Last couple of years I've been trying to switch up goals and [see] what is good, for me that's showing up for 150-plus games. If I make those approach goals my goals, the byproduct will be the numbers.
"The good part is you get to a point in your career where the team has to play well and you have to personally play well for you to go home happy. I like that I've got to that point but the hard point is you go home unhappy a lot if you don't win. At a certain age when you are making a certain amount of money there is a lot more responsibility for you to get your team going and try to win. If all that isn't happening there is an unfulfilled feeling. You have to do well just so you can stay but then you get to a point where you have to have it all or not feel good about it.''
Manager Ozzie Guillen was happy for Guillen and especially impressed because Konerko did it without having a strong power hitting protecting him in the Sox lineup, although A.J. Pierzynski batted fourth behind him Sunday and hit two home runs. Pierzynski has eight homers this season. Konerko has 103 RBI.
"He can maybe be the only bright thing we have here this year, 30 home runs, 100-plus RBI, really no protection,'' Guillen said. "Very happy for him., I think I was pulling for that home run more than anything else. A lot of people think 'Well, 30 home runs, 100 RBI, you're still losing.' But it means a lot to him and it means a lot to me seeing one of my players have success and have a great year.''
Konerko has kept on going even though the Sox are out of the playoff race.
"All these games here, everybody, when you get knocked out even if it's not mathematical but the writing is on the wall it takes a few days to re-adjust and focus,'' he said. "Going back even to the Detroit series, everybody has made of point of being professional and doing whatever you do to get ready. Everybody has a different way but that's the main thing. Twelve days from now you go home and be proud of the fact you did it the same way the whole way and don't let up. It happens, teams made up of human beings and we're all guilty of getting untracked a little, especially when you get knocked out late in the year.''
The White Sox are off Monday before playing four games in three days in Cleveland.