5/7 Thanks, Paulie
Jeff Samardzija presented White Sox slugger Paul Konerko with a No. 14 from the Wrigley Field scoreboard as a parting gift. Konerko is retiring after this season and Tuesday was his last game at Wrigley, although he did not play. Samardzija wanted to take part in the ceremony. In May 2012, the right-hander accidentally hit Konerko on the side of the head with a pitch.
“When the whole thing went down when I hit him, the first thing I said was it’s the worst guy it could happen to because I respect him more than anyone in this game,” Samardzija said. “You talk about losing two guys in the game like [Derek] Jeter and Konerko, it’s tough. It’s bad for the game. We love to see those guys and how long they played and we’d love to see them keep playing. Outstanding man, and hopefully he has a strong year to end it and enjoys it too and enjoys the run he had and soaks it all in.”
Konerko appreciated the gesture.
“Yeah, I like Jeff,” Konerko said. “He’s a good guy. He’s doing great. I’m a fan of his as far as the way he pitches and he’s aggressive out there and he swings the bat well on top of it. I don’t know him well; I’ve met him a few times off the field but you know his teammates really like him and he’s respected over there. The guys that are with him every day, they’re not going to be wrong on that stuff. It was kind of fitting that he gave it to me and he’s doing great right now. Good for him.”
– Carrie Muskat