Seems crazy. Seems like, based on his age and a batting line of .244/.313/.355 last season that Paul Konerko is kaput. But Rick Morrissey argues that, even if Konerko is finished, the Sox should sign him. For old time’s sake:
There is no measure from 2013 that would make you want Konerko on your roster, not at his age (he’ll turn 38 during spring training) and not with the nagging injuries that always seem to be tugging at him. He went .244/.313/.355 last season. The metrics crowd would suggest euthanasia is in order. But Konerko has meant so much to this franchise, and that’s why the Sox are leaving his return up to him … What does Konerko bring to the table? Wrong question. What has he brought to the table? Better.
Morrissey adds that we should take into account the fact that Konerko is a good leader in that he talked to the media every day so his teammates didn’t have to. And that he’s well thought-of in the organization and among his teammates.
All of which is a great argument to make Konerko a coach. Nowhere, however, is there a half-decent argument in there to bring him back as a first baseman.
Despite the earlier rain, the All-Star Game got underway on time and following the usual pregame festivities Max Scherzer took the hill to face the American League.
Scherzer did great in the first inning, striking out Mookie Betts and Jose Altuve and then, following a walk to Mike Trout and giving up a single to J.D. Matinez, retired Jose Ramirez on a weak popup. Scherzer was cooing with gas: the reigning Cy Young winner had not thrown a pitch as fast as 98 m.p.h. all season, but he threw three of those during his scoreless first.
Chris Sale‘s work in the bottom half was more about nasty stuff than mere heat. Following a leadoff single allowed to Javier Baez he got Nolan Arenado to fly out to left, struck out Paul Goldschmidt on a nasty slider and then got Freddie Freeman out via a fly to left.
Aaron Judge led off the second. The same Aaron Judge someone wrote today could be trade bait if the Yankees felt so inclined. Which, um, OK, that was dumb anyway, but it looked even dumber when Judge muscled Scherzer’s second pitch — a letter-high fastball — out to left field with many, many feet to spare for a homer.
Scherzer got the rest of the A.L. side, but the damage had been done. The American League leads 1-0 after an inning and a half.