Konerko was named as Guillen's lone captain after the 2005 World Series championship season. And where Guillen stands as the frenetic and colorful face of the franchise, Konerko serves as the conscience and a more low-key, pragmatic extension of the White Sox manager in the clubhouse.
This connection between two top professionals with decidedly different backgrounds could make Guillen's job status with the White Sox a deciding factor for Konerko as he weighs upcoming free-agent offers. But Konerko said before Sunday's 4-3 win over the Angels that the manager simply becomes one of the many intangibles to examine when trying to come to such an important decision.
"When the time comes to examine where I'll play next year, every last factor of the team is going to be considered," Konerko said. "That's just normal. It's just smart.
"I'm not going to comment on if [Guillen] goes here or there. When you are making a decision to do something like this, you try to get as much information as you can. If that's here, I'll make a decision based on the information here. If that's somewhere other than here, I'll make the decision based on the information somewhere else."
With a .313 average, 38 home runs and 106 RBIs entering Sunday's road finale for the White Sox, Konerko has emerged as a prime American League Most Valuable Player candidate. He also has handled a walk-away year with near-perfection, much like he did in 2005.
Free agency wasn't a topic addressed by Konerko from after Spring Training until the White Sox were eliminated from postseason. But Konerko said he will talk more about the topic once the team returns home to Chicago.