Williams Considered Adding Manager to Konerko's Plate
By Chuck Sudo in News on Oct 12, 2011 2:00PM
Paul Konerko is going to end his career as one of the most beloved players to ever don a White Sox uniform. But could ha have handled the pressures of being a player-manager?
That's the question White Sox GM Kenny Williams apparently asked before hiring Robin Ventura to replace Ozzie Guillen. During yesterday's press conference to formally announce Ventura's hiring, Williams confirmed reports he considered naming Konerko player-manager.
“It was considered long enough for me to realize that Paul is a very cerebral person and he would probably drive himself nuts right now playing and managing at the same time,” Williams said. “But that’s the kind of respect I have for him that. I did consider it. Then I thought I think I would rather him be focused more on hitting third or fourth in the lineup and driving in 100 runs rather than trying to worry about 25 other guys in addition to it. We are trying to win.”
The White Sox do have a history with player-managers, most recently Don Kessinger from 1978-79. But there hasn't been a full-time player-manager in the major leagues since Lou Boudreau's days in Cleveland. (Pete Rose was only a part-time player manager and wrote himself into lineups only to chase Ty Cobb's hits record.)
Combined with Ventura's hiring, this news further puts Williams on the firing line for any future White Sox woes. Benjy is on record as saying the underachieving Sox teams of recent vintage are mainly Williams' fault. One of the things we've always admired about Williams is his tendency to take a gamble. A lot of those gambles have failed miserably; others - like hiring Guillen - paid off handsomely.
Could Konerko have handled the double duty? We'd like to think so. The Sox captain has grown on us over the years simply by sticking to what he does well and becoming a consistent run producer and clutch hitter. We're certain if Konerko decides on pursuing a coaching career after his playing days are over, he'll find success.