CHICAGO -- Paul Konerko has been a fixture with the White Sox since 1999, serving as a leader both on the field and in the clubhouse.
Although Konerko is set to become a free agent after this current 2010 campaign, White Sox general manager Ken Williams made it clear via exclusive comments to MLB.com that Konerko is part of the franchise's future plans.
"I would love to have him retire as a White Sox," said Williams.
Williams did not stop at that blanket statement.
Konerko is and always will be a valued member of the organization and is playing through one of his best seasons with a .322 average, 36 home runs and 104 RBIs following his two-home run, five-RBI effort in Sunday's 12-6 victory over the Royals. But even with Konerko being a special case, factoring in his association as one of the faces of the franchise and team captain, the personnel decisions ultimately will come down to how the White Sox finish and the money available for 2011 and beyond.
"That's pretty much all I'm going to say on it, because I don't know what the future holds," added Williams. "I don't know how we are going to finish.
"We are driven by the revenue stream that comes in. People might not like it but it is what it is. We have to at least be able to be a break-even operation, and try to win at the same time."
Other tough decisions will need to be made by the White Sox, with Mark Buehrle possibly standing as the only member of the 2005 World Series team still with the White Sox next year. A.J. Pierzynski and Freddy Garcia join Konerko in free agency, while Bobby Jenks is arbitration-eligible.
But manager Ozzie Guillen won't think about losing his charges and friends until the season's end.
"Every year we're going to lose something," Guillen said. "And this year it might be more special because I don't know who we're going to lose and who we're going to keep. We'll have to wait and see.
"When we come back to Chicago [at the end of the month] to play, who do we play? Boston? Boston and Cleveland. I might think about it. Right now, I'm not even close, maybe the last couple series, maybe the last couple games, yes. I have to. They've been playing for me for a long time."
Williams, Guillen work through tough season
CHICAGO -- White Sox general manager Ken Williams and manager Ozzie Guillen can agree for certain on one fact concerning the 2010 season. It has not been an easy one for either of them.
"It's the toughest professional and personal year I've ever had," Williams said. "It's been a long one. It's been a tough year."
"I went through tough times, to be honest with you, on the field and off the field, but I handled it real well and the players handled it real well," Guillen said. "It's an important year for myself. I grew up as a person, I grew up as a manager, grew up as an organization and we'll see what happens."
Although the relationship between the two certainly has not been perfect this season, the driving force of winning another World Series title for the White Sox could have them back together for an eighth year in 2011.
"Yes, I would like to win another championship before I go to the next phase of my career," Williams said. "When that happens, I'll probably want to win another one to be honest with you. I like the camaraderie. I like the competition on a day-to-day level. You are striving for a goal. I like the interaction with the players, in seeing them grow and achieve.
"The part I don't like about the job is the peripheral things that wear on me. I would prefer to operate this thing like the Wizard of Oz, behind the curtain, but that's not the nature of the job. It's a give and take.
"So I don't plan on going anywhere," Williams said. "Sometimes these things are not our choice. But I haven't been given any indication that [White Sox chairman] Jerry [Reinsdorf] wants to look into changes. Sometimes you are the last to know."
Quentin to return for Twins series
CHICAGO -- Carlos Quentin is healthy, a point made clear by White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen during his pregame media session Sunday. But with Quentin hitting 0-for-13 in his last four games, Guillen decided to go with the left-handed-hitting Mark Teahen in right field against Kansas City's right-handed starter, Sean O'Sullivan.
Guillen's theory was to have Quentin ready for Minnesota southpaws Francisco Liriano and Brian Duensing, who start the first two games of the next series with the Twins. Despite Quentin hitting .236 in 120 games, Guillen is satisfied with his slugger's 82 RBIs on just 98 hits.
"I'm satisfied he's healthy all year long," said Guillen of Quentin. "His job is to drive runs in and he's been doing it pretty good. I worry about how much we are going to play him, but he's having a good year. That's why we brought him here.
"He clicked for a couple of weeks, but with the way he plays, we have to be careful how we play him, because I want to keep him healthy the most I can. Right now, we have Manny [Ramirez] in the lineup. It's hard for me to try to get people at-bats. I try to match up the best lineup. Last night we had [Mark] Kotsay. Today we had Teahen. Carlos will play the next two days for sure."
Third to first
The "Salsa and Stars with Ozzie Guillen & Friends" charity event, marking the inaugural event bringing together Chicago White Sox Charities and The Ozzie Guillen Foundation, will take place on Monday's off-day in downtown Chicago. Guillen was excited for all the planning put into this extravaganza to come together on Monday. "Hopefully, we'll spend a lot of money to help some kids," Guillen said. ... Juan Pierre's 514th career stolen base, coming during Sunday's 12-6 win, ties him with Barry Bonds for 32nd place on the all-time list. ... White Sox starters have a 6.00 ERA in their last eight games. ... Paul Konerko's five RBIs Sunday give him 1,118 with the White Sox, moving him past Luke Appling into second place on the team's all-time list.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.