As the White Sox contend with a surprise retirement, their most famous planned retiree in recent years, Paul Konerko, visited Camelback Ranch. Colleen Kane of the Tribune has a story about him and it’s pretty enlightening with respect a recently-retired player’s mindset.
Konerko is entering his second season as a civilian and he’s not at all ready to come back as a coach or in some other formal capacity. He has little kids at home still and talks about “burnout” from baseball. From the context it’s not the same sort of burnout you or I might feel at our regular jobs as there isn’t an element of, I dunno, disillusion to it that your typical burnt out office worker feels. It’s more like being spent. Like, Konerko was just done with baseball when he left and still feels done with it and doesn’t have an itch to return. Unlike some players who try to come back, you get the sense that Konerko left at just the right time.
He also offers this glimpse into the day-to-day of retired life, which I found amusing:
“The first year is great because everything that happens, good or bad, you’re like, ‘This is great,’ because it’s a new experience,” Konerko said. “Even when stuff goes wrong, something breaks at the house, you’re like, ‘Hey, I’m here to fix it. This is great.’
“After the first year, you’re like, ‘All right, I’ve been running a lot of errands to the store.’ Doing the same things over and over again, it kind of gets monotonous.”
And then, a year or two later, after the runs to the store go from monotonous to miserable, you replace Robin Ventura, presumably.