Robin Ventura was formally introduced as the new White Sox manager today, a move that few people saw coming. But in a move that even fewer people saw not-coming, which they shouldn't have because it didn't happen, the ChiSox braintrust "considered" naming Paul Konerko a player-manager, the first in baseball in 26 years.
Last week Jerry Reinsdorf said the process began with GM Ken Williams presenting him with two lists of candidates, one with the "usual suspects" and the other consisting of more unorthodox names Ventura and Konerko. At today's press conference, Williams confirmed as much.
"That report is not false," he said, which is Ken Williams for "Yes."
"It was considered long enough for me to realize that Paul is a very cerebral person and he would probably drive himself nuts right now playing and managing at the same time," Williams said when asked how seriously he considered Konerko.
This gives us a sad. Sure, the last player-manager was too busy betting on games to play or manage well. But when we think of player-managers, we don't think of Pete Rose. We think of Cap Anson, or Ty Cobb, or Tinker and Evers and Chance. A simpler, long-long-ago time when there was plenty of time for drinking and dice games and racism while handling the media and playing every day.
Maybe next time. Maybe Jason Varitek will give it a shot next year. Or hell, maybe Ozzie Guillen will pencil himself in at shortstop to give Hanley Ramirez a kick in the pants. Come back, player-managers. We're sure today's media would tear you apart, and we sort of want to see it.