Konerko declines 'C,' wants focus on team

Updated: January 25, 2006, 10:59 PM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- If the Chicago White Sox want to make him a captain, Paul Konerko has a message: No thanks.

 Paul Konerko

Although he insisted he's "flattered" that White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has floated the idea of naming him captain of the World Series champions, the slugging first baseman made it clear Wednesday that he doesn't want a 'C' on his uniform.

"The way our team operates best, it seems to me, is everybody has an equal voice," Konerko said.

Konerko said he hasn't discussed the idea with Guillen or general manager Ken Williams. But if they insist, he'll go along.

"I don't know about the wearing-the-C thing," he said. "There's a difference in the uniform, and I don't know if I agree with that. It's singling out one person on our team. I don't want to offend everybody, but I think this team operates best when everybody is uniform and the same."

However, the White Sox are not quite the same team that won Chicago's first baseball championship since 1917.

Konerko signed a five-year, $60 million deal after the White Sox traded center fielder Aaron Rowand to Philadelphia for Jim Thome. Then, he watched the White Sox acquire starting pitcher Javier Vazquez and infielder Rob Mackowiak, and re-sign catcher A.J. Pierzynski and pitcher Jon Garland to multiyear contracts.

On Wednesday, Konerko and relievers Neal Cotts and Cliff Politte presented a $5,000 check from the White Sox to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

"Last year, we won a lot of games where we didn't hit the ball well," Konerko said. "We're trying to sure that up and score some runs, and then hopefully combine that with the pitching. You have to say that we're a better team on paper because we've gotten better offensively."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press