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Konerko never a replacement option for Team USA

MESA, Ariz. -- When Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira was taken off the Team USA roster Tuesday due to a strained tendon in his right wrist, White Sox slugger Paul Konerko didn't have to wonder if he would get a call to participate as a replacement in the World Baseball Classic.

Once Konerko wasn't announced as part of the original roster in January, he basically took himself out of consideration.

"I was either on or off no matter what goes on anywhere else. That was the deal, at least on my end of it," Konerko said. "I just wanted to know if I was either coming to Spring Training and leaving to go play for it or coming to Spring Training and being a White Sox the whole time. I wasn't going to be waiting to see if someone could go down and all of a sudden I have to change my plans."

Konerko had checked the no box in regard to being part of Team USA during the two previous World Baseball Classics. He did the same thing this time around, but was talked into reconsidering by the Major League Baseball Players Association.

There still was no guarantee he would make the roster, but Konerko decided to give it a shot and see what happened. He also told them for overall preparation purposes that he would not be an alternate.

"So, I knew there was no chance in me playing for that the second that I wasn't on the team," Konerko said.

While Konerko said he was a little bit ahead of schedule in his offseason preparation into January because he didn't know if he was on Team USA or not, it was family stuff as much as disrupting his Spring Training route that played upon his original decision.

"Because when you are going to be traveling, they were going to go to Miami. It was stuff like that I had to know," Konerko said. "I wasn't going to be blitzed with it."

Eric Hosmer, Kansas City's left-handed-hitting first baseman, was chosen as Teixeira's replacement. And even though Konerko knew he wasn't a candidate, he felt adding a right-handed hitter didn't make sense.

"They should have a left-handed first baseman," Konerko said. "I knew when Tex got hurt I wasn't going, but it wouldn't make sense anyways. I knew once in January I didn't make the team I wasn't playing in it. There was no way I could or would. It was done already."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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