White Sox captain Paul Konerko can empathize with young players this time of year who might be the target of trades.
As a 22-year-old in 1998, Konerko was traded twice, from the Dodgers to the Reds to the White Sox. He said the first move, away from the team that drafted him, was the toughest to take, but it taught him a lesson.
"You learn real quick that it's a business," Konerko said. "And it's a tough business, and all you can do is be tough back. ... You have to realize that a team traded for you. You have to see that as a positive."
Konerko, in the last year of his career, is one of a handful of players the Sox definitely won't trade this month. He had advice for a player such as second baseman Gordon Beckham, who has been the subject of trade rumors while fighting to meet high expectations he created as a young player.
"You have to block out a lot of things and take the field and do your job," Konerko said. "A lot of teams look at (Beckham) and see he's a winning player, what he does defensively -- all these things that aren't the glamorous stats that he put up right away (as a rookie).
"You see those rumors because there are a lot of teams that look at him and say, 'We don't care what White Sox fans or the White Sox thought he could be, this guy can help us win games.' ... He's a big boy. He'll be all right."
(c)2014 Chicago Tribune
Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services