Konerko declines 'C,' wants focus on team

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

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."