The 2009 Chicago White Sox are a young team, and while they're not completely hopeless -- they're not the Giants, after all -- the chances 2009 turns into a rebuilding year are high. Kenny Williams seems to have finally realized that going for broke every season is no way to run a baseball team. If he can improve the long-term ability of his club this season, he's going to do it.
The prime candidates for that sort of mid-season trade are Jermaine Dye and Paul Konerko, but Konerko has a special exemption. Because of his veteran status, he can veto any trade. But if he means what he says today -- and we have no doubt he does -- Konerko would willingly waive that veto if it could help the White Sox. This makes him the coolest dude in professional baseball, we think:
''You never know because the answer could be you help them by leaving,'' Konerko said. ''I would never be opposed to that. It doesn't have to be a breakup that's antagonistic. It doesn't have to be a thing where heads are butted. My thought is that if you earn a right like that -- and usually because it feels like you have to go through hell to get it -- at the same time, the White Sox are like family to me,'' Konerko said. ''I've always said that I want to do what's best for the organization because they've done so much for me.
''I'm here for this organization -- whether I play for another team or whatever, it won't matter. I'll always be a member of the White Sox."
Maybe Konerko is just really savvy at PR, but we doubt it. He just seems like a cool guy.
He does reserve one caveat: He will examine the team he's going to. It's easy to imagine Konerko not wanting to be traded to another rebuilding team. His career is on the wane, and the chance to go back to another World Series would have to be a prime consideration were he to accept a trade. It'd also be well within the man's rights to deny any trade. Like he said, he's earned that right. The White Sox would have to respect it. That he would take a trade for the good of the White Sox speaks to a certain degree of integrity here. It's cheesy to say, but that's awfully rare, isn't it?