AFTER SIGNING first baseman Adam Dunn, it sure looked as if the White Sox were cutting ties with incumbent Paul Konerko.

But assistant general manager Rick Hahn met Konerko's agent for some sushi and - faster than you can say shrimp tempura - a 3-year, $37.5 million agreement was reached. All Hahn needed was the approval of general manager Kenny Williams (and a couple of Kirins).

"He might have gotten a little bit more because Rick and I started to tip a few back after a while," Williams joked.

Phantom of the O-fer

About the only good thing to say about the Adirondack Phantoms this year is that at least they are playing in upstate New York.

The Flyers' top affiliate is a dreadful 3-20-2-0. They have registered eight points in 25 games and entered last night a preposterous 32 points behind Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the team leading the AHL's East Division. It's still 2-plus weeks until Christmas! Maybe they oughta move them back into the Spectrum.

Looking around at other leagues, the NFL's Carolina Panthers are 1-11, the NBA's Sacramento Kings are 4-15 and, in college football, San Jose State recently just went 1-12.

There's about two dozen college basketball teams of either gender that haven't won a game yet led by the men's and women's programs at Centenary (0-16) and Arkansas-Pine Bluff (0-13), none of which have won a game yet.

Hmmm . . . maybe the Adirondacks ain't so bad.

Out Foxed?

Speaking of those Carolina Panthers, owner Jerry Richardson felt obligated to send an apology letter to seat-license holders for the 1-11 season. Problem is, nobody told coach John Fox.

"I have no idea what you're talking about," Fox said when asked about it yesterday. Just a hunch, coach, but you may want to put UHaul's number in your Blackberry. *

- Ed Barkowitz

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