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In My Words: Konerko commends Sox rebuild

Special to MLB.com

I usually have the White Sox games on in our house. It's mostly in the background. I'll admit I'm not as dialed in. We have a lot of stuff going on with the kids. My current life doesn't allow much time for watching games.

Also, the hard part for me -- and I'm sure it's the case for many former players -- is that the fewer players you know on the team, the tougher it is for me to watch. With all the trades, there are not many players left here from my final season in 2014.

I usually have the White Sox games on in our house. It's mostly in the background. I'll admit I'm not as dialed in. We have a lot of stuff going on with the kids. My current life doesn't allow much time for watching games.

Also, the hard part for me -- and I'm sure it's the case for many former players -- is that the fewer players you know on the team, the tougher it is for me to watch. With all the trades, there are not many players left here from my final season in 2014.

:: Chicago White Sox: In My Words ::

But from talking to people here behind the scenes, you learn what's going on. It's not rocket science. Everyone can see the prospects they're bringing in here. It's been impressive.

The White Sox have a commitment to do this the right way. A lot of times when a team says that, they still wind up making some moves to play toward the middle. Obviously, that hasn't been the case here. They're going full throttle to collect as much talent as they can.

That commitment will pay off down the road. I don't think it will be as long as some people say. As a fan of the game, you see that all teams are going young. The World Series teams are younger. Maybe over the next year, year and a half, they might take some lumps. But it wouldn't shock me if it all starts coming together at the end of next year. When you rebuild in today's game, it seems to turn over much quicker compared to years ago.

I had a chance to talk to this year's first-round pick Jake Burger. When he said he grew up watching me play, it made me feel like I was an elderly man. Then again, I'm 41. When you think about it, he was 9 years old when I was in the 2005 World Series.

He seems like a nice kid. I watched some video of him, and he looks like a big kid who can hit. Of course, I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for a right-handed hitter who's not known for his defense or speed. You're always going to need guys who can hit. I gave him my number and told him to call if he ever wanted to talk about anything.

Video: Top Prospects: Jake Burger, 3B, White Sox

When you look at what's occurring now, there's a bit of a comparison from an attitude standpoint to when I came to the White Sox in 1999. I was 23, and we had some good young hitters coming up: Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Lee. There was a healthy competitiveness. Everyone wanted to keep up with the other guys. It pushed us to be good.

I remember going to Yankee Stadium for the first time thinking, "We don't even belong on the same field as these guys. This is what good looks like, and we're not it."

It turned out to be one of my most fun years in baseball. It felt like a college team who all hung together. We went from going 75-86 in 1999 to 95-67 and winning the division in 2000. We thought we'd be good for a few years, but it didn't work out that way.

What's happening now is going to be different. All things being equal, this will be a way better collection of talent. This is on a much grander scale.

I know it's going to be tough initially in the loss column. But when it gets good here, it's going to stay good for a long time.

As told to Ed Sherman

Paul Konerko is a former White Sox first baseman.

Chicago White Sox