It may have been assumed that in Paulie’s last year with the Pale Hose, he would be in the lineup on Opening Day to ring in the year. That is not the case.
Scott Merkin of MLB.com reports that Konerko will not be one of the starting nine as Chicago opens the season against the Minnesota Twins. Konerko got together with manager Robin Ventura and it was decided that against the righty for the Twins, Ricky Nolasco, the right-handed hitting DH would not be an optimal bat for the lineup. Konerko said that if he wasn’t penciled in to start against Nolasco in a regular season game, he should be in there just for dramatic purposes.
Paul Konerko is going into his age-38 season with the White Sox and has accepted that his role is going to be as a platoon player, primarily as a DH. This is Konerko’s 16th season with Chicago, and in this reduced role, it will likely be the only time he plays in less than 120 games.
There are no doubts, however, that Paul will get a nice loud ovation from the crowd at U.S. Cellular when his name is announced as part of the 25-man roster on Opening Day.