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Dear Paulie: Thanks but no thanks

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Retirement beckons

End it with a smile.
End it with a smile.
Jonathan Daniel

Hi Paul, it's your old pal larry. Lately, I've been thinking a lot about your career. You sure had a  good run.  The 13th overall pick in the 1994 draft, an integral piece in three White Sox playoff teams, a World Series champion, multiple All-Star appearances, a few MVP votes, very good career offensive numbers, the list goes on.

And let's not forget that $128 million and your manor and estate in Arizona.  You can't argue with 43 square miles.

Recently, you again reiterated that you wanted to continue playing baseball after your contract is up at the end of this season. You still think you can be productive.  I think it's time for us to have a little chat about reality.

Now I understand the desire to hang on. Baseball is all you've ever known. You were pretty darn good at it. The last season and a half have been disappointing and you've had plenty of injuries during that time, too, not to mention prior.  I frankly didn't know it was possible to get six injections in a person's back, all at one time but, by god, you did it.  You're an elite athlete and you naturally have a high level of confidence in your own abilities.

But, Paulie, you don't have the ability to be a major league baseball player any longer.  I know this is tough to accept. You probably think that, if only you could get healthy during the offseason, you'd get back to being a productive hitter.  I certainly don't doubt your desire to get back to that level and I know you'd put in the work to back it up.

Here's the reality, though: you haven't been any good since about June 1, 2012.  In fact, if your name wasn't Paul Konerko and you weren't on the White Sox with a guaranteed contract, you wouldn't even be rosterable. You're going to be 38 next year and the injuries aren't going to go away.  Your skills just aren't there anymore.

Please don't be one of those players who hangs on far too long.  It's been pretty painful for us White Sox fans to watch you play out your contract. And we certainly don't begrudge you the opportunity to finish it out on the field. You've earned that right and there are many fans who are going to want to watch you one final time, even in your diminished state.

But that's got to be it. Let us not deceive ourselves any longer. It is in vain to extenuate the matter.  End your career on your own terms.  End it at the conclusion of this season.