Long-time vet Konerko absent from Opening Day lineup

CHICAGO -- The retooled White Sox look to improve from a 63-99 last-place finish in 2013 and

offered a retooled lineup with five players who made their first Opening Day starts, Chicago's

most since 1944.

First timers included first baseman Jose Abreu, center fielder Adam Eaton, right fielder

Avisail Garcia, third baseman Conor Gillaspie and second baseman Marcus Seimien.

But conspicuously absent from the Opening Day lineup was veteran Paul Konerko, the first

baseman/DH who is playing his final season with Chicago.

"I just think it's the way it should be," said Konerko, who has started 15 previous Opening

Days in Chicago. "It's just not part of the blueprint of what we're going to do here. ... It's

pretty simple, there's a plan and roles of when guys play and when they don't."

White Sox manager Robin Ventura said the decision was Konerko's.

"In talking to Paulie, it's not an easy decision, but when you go over how you're going to do

this and make this work, he made it clear this is kind of what he signed up to do," said Ventura,

whose White Sox defeated the Minnesota Twins 5-3 Monday in the opener.

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