CHICAGO -- When Paul Konerko joins Ken "Hawk" Harrelson as guest analyst in the television broadcast booth on Aug. 19, the White Sox legend will be hoping for one thing that day against the Royals he never hoped for previously during his storied 18-year-career.That hope is extra innings."I want as
CHICAGO -- When Paul Konerko joins Ken "Hawk" Harrelson as guest analyst in the television broadcast booth on Aug. 19, the White Sox legend will be hoping for one thing that day against the Royals he never hoped for previously during his storied 18-year-career.
That hope is extra innings.
"I want as much time as I can up there with him," Konerko said prior to Tuesday's game at Guaranteed Rate Field. "I'm specifically flying back here to do it -- although flying back and catching Pearl Jam the night before isn't a bad thing.
"I've never done anything like that -- this might be a first and last right here. It probably will be. I don't know what to expect, but I want to have my thoughts so I know where to go. I don't want to waste any opportunity to talk about some stuff with him up there because I think he's great.
"There's a lot of stories," Konerko said. "My whole career with the White Sox, he was there all the time. Buses, planes and all that. I couldn't imagine my career here without him."
Konerko, whose White Sox jersey No. 14 is retired and has a statue on the ballpark concourse after hitting 432 home runs over 16 seasons, returned to Chicago after a weekend trip to Cooperstown to watch Jim Thome, his good friend and former teammate, get inducted into the Hall of Fame. He called it an awesome experience, not just in seeing Thome's well-deserved honor, but also for Owen Konerko, his son and baseball fan whom Konerko now coaches, to experience.
He'll return to Arizona in a few days. And the preparation begins for the broadcast with Harrelson, in his 33rd and final year in the White Sox booth who also has seven games left to call.
"I'm going to try and obviously announce the game a little bit," Konerko said. "But I say it now: forgive me if I just go off on some tangents that have nothing to do with what's going on on the field because there's a chance I'm going to want to ask him a lot of questions and I got a lot of stuff teed up.
"It's kind of the end of an era, a big long era. I don't think guys are going to get to do it as long as he's done it, and I don't think guys will be allowed to be like he is anymore, right? So definitely special. To anybody who has done something that long, I don't care if it's a writer, coach, whatever, you start talking 40, 50, 60 years of doing a thing, being in the game, that could almost trump anything when you've got that type of longevity."
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.