Healed or not, Paul Konerko plans to return from hand injury

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Last week White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko insisted he’d play again despite a fractured bone in his left hand that threatened to end his 18th and final season early, and sure enough now he’s making plans for a late-season comeback.

According to Scott Merkin of MLB.com “the worst-case scenario continues to be Konerko playing at some point during the final four home games of the season against the Royals.”

Of course, in reality “the worst-case scenario” probably involves Konerko not being able to play again at all, although I suppose he could always go out there with an unhealed injury just to finish his career on the field. Or as he put it:

Once I know it’s good, it’s not like I have to go through a program of building it back up. If I can hit a pitched ball, I’ll be available the next night. Or that night. There will be some discomfort, but it’s enough that I can keep on it and not have to worry about it setting me back any more.

Konerko has yet to take any swings or do any baseball-related activities, so it’s tough to gauge his progress beyond his being insistent on returning.

Pirates pitcher Steven Brault sang the National Anthem last night

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Pittsburgh Pirates swingman Steven Brault has a 4.38 ERA in 19 games this year. He also has a music degree and is a professional singer on the side of his baseball gig. He didn’t get into last night’s game against the Brewers as a pitcher, but he did get to use his singing skills.

Specifically, Brault got to sing the National Anthem. And he did an OK job of it too. He’s not Whitney Houston or anything, but he did what all Anthem singers who are not as gifted as Whitney Houston was should do: he kept it straight and businesslike, avoiding unnecessary flourishes:

It’s march, dang it, not a ballad, and it should be treated as such. Unless of course you’re Whitney Houston.