White Sox

Quentin loses Little League, wins Player of Week

419089.jpg

Quentin loses Little League, wins Player of Week

Monday, April 4, 2011Posted: 4:45 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

KANSAS CITYHe may have lost the video game battle with fellow Chicago White Sox slugger Adam Dunn, but Carlos Quentin edged out his brawny teammate on the field, being named the first American League Player of the Week this season for his opening weekend outburst vs. the Cleveland Indians.

Quentin went 6-11 in three starts over the weekend, getting on base at a .583 clip and slugging 1.091 for an outrageous 1.674 OPS. While the White Sox mostly pummeled Wahoos pitching, slugging at a .459 clip, only Dunns eight total bases approach Quentins tidy dozen in Cleveland. Through three games, Quentin leads the AL in batting average (.545) and is tied for the lead in doubles (three) and RBI (seven).

Like that of many of his teammates, Quentins hitting approach to start the season has been ideal, driving the ball deep into the opposite-field gap.

His five RBI on Opening Day were the most by a White Sox player since Sammy Sosa also tapped in five in 1991, while Quentins seven RBI in the first two games of the season were the most for the White Sox since Minnie Minoso also had seven, in 1960.

After his Opening Day slugging, Quentin was typically low-key and sober, noting that he was just trying to keep his groove going and not over-thinka key impediment to his success in the past: Hitting is a thing you dont talk about too much because when its going well, you want to leave it as it is.

In winding up his brief remarks on Friday, Quentin rather hilariously noted, as only Q can, in unintentionally deadpan fashion: Im ecstatic. We won.

After a 2-4, two-double, two-RBI chaser on Saturday, Quentin opted out of a postgame interview, instead competing with Dunn on the visiting clubhouses classic Nintendo system. First up was Super Mario Kart, in which Quentin severely underperformed, immediately burning all of his speed boosters and spending more than one race driving counterclockwise (the wrong way). White Sox teammates Dunn, Matt Thornton, and John Danks had several laughs at Quentins expense, while the Cleveland clubhouse attendants were in near-tears listening to the clubs running commentary on Qs prowess behind the wheel.

After the massacre, Quentin opted for a game I can win, Little League Baseball. Dunnpossibly playing possumclaimed to be unfamiliar with the workings (how do I bunt? What, no bunting?) but, according to Dunn the next day and corroborated by the chuckling of Brent Lillibridge, the new White Sox slugger upset Quentin in their Little League game, 4-2.

On Sunday, Quentin was a mere 1-3 off of Justin Masterson, with an infield hit to third in his first at-bat. His second time up, Quentin walked and advanced to second on an A.J. Pierzynski single. When Alexei Ramirez popped out on his sacrifice bunt attempt, both Quentin and Pierzynski were caught far off base and became victims of the first triple play turned vs. the White Sox in 33 seasons.

Both general manager Ken Williams and manager Ozzie Guillen have called a successful year by Quentin as the most important component to a White Sox playoff appearance. After several attempts by both men to get Quentin to stop over-thinking and ease up on himself, Guillen finally gave up in spring training, saying he will just let Carlos be Carlos and stop trying to change him. So far, so good.

The weekly honor is the second of Quentins career. He was named the AL Player of the week for June 21-27, 2010 as well.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.coms White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.

White Sox pitchers Hamilton & Burr get a shoutout from Lin-Manuel Miranda

lin-manuel_miranda.jpg
USA TODAY

White Sox pitchers Hamilton & Burr get a shoutout from Lin-Manuel Miranda

Lin-Manuel Miranda has landed in Chicago and he made sure to give some his favorite teams, places and people in the city a shout out on Twitter.

Roughly five minutes passed before the playwright and actor of Hamilton fame quickly remembered to give a quick greeting to the White Sox and two specific members of the team.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, who plays Alexander Hamilton in "Hamilton: An American Musical" made sure to give a specific shout out to White Sox relief pitchers Ryan Burr and Ian Hamilton. The musical Hamilton of course discusses the infamous duel between Vice President Aaron Burr and former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton.

White Sox pitchers Burr and Hamilton have been inextricably linked due to their last names, ever since  they first became teammates with the White Sox Class-A team in Winston-Salem, N.C., in 2017. And they took their bond one step further in 2019, recreating the Burr-Hamilton duel in front of the entire Whie Sox team

Miranda is currently in Chicago for the opening and ribbon cutting of "Hamilton: The Exhibition". The exhibit will open on Friday, April 26.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.

Remember That Guy: Charlie O’Brien

remember_that_guy.jpg
USA TODAY

Remember That Guy: Charlie O’Brien

Back in the day, Major League catchers used to wear a backwards helmet with a separate mask strapped to it.

The beginning of the end of those masks was September 13, 1996 in Toronto, when Charlie O’Brien introduced the hockey goalie-style catcher’s mask.

Remember that guy?

Charlie O’Brien was born May 1, 1960 in Tulsa, OK.  He was originally drafted in 1978 out of Bishop Kelley (Tulsa) High School by the Rangers in the 14th round, then again out of Wichita State in the 21st round in 1981 by the Mariners (that same year his college teammate Joe Carter was taken in the 1st round by the Cubs). Finally, O’Brien signed after being selected by the A’s in the 5th round in 1982, following a dynamic .359/.399/.659 season with 25 HR and 116 RBI in 87 games.  

O’Brien worked his way through the minors, reaching Triple-A Tacoma in 1984 and earning a 16-game trial with the Oakland A’s in June 1985. He caught the final inning of a 10-1 loss on June 2 in his MLB debut in Baltimore, and eventually collected his first MLB hit – a double off the Tigers’ Frank Tanana – on August 22, his first career start. With a couple of young catchers in Mickey Tettleton & Terry Steinbach blocking his path to the Majors, O’Brien was shipped from Oakland to Milwaukee in March 1986. He played well over the next two years in El Paso and Denver in the Brewers system, and he received another 10-game stint in the Majors in May 1987. O’Brien started 1988 back in Denver, but in June he was called up to the big club for good.

He served as backup catcher from Milwaukee to Queens (he was traded to the Mets in August 1990) to Atlanta (where he won a World Series in 1995) and Toronto, developing a reputation as a solid catcher. For his career, he threw out 37% of attempted base stealers, which is comfortably above the league average of 31%. He caught 13 pitchers who won Cy Young awards at some point, including a string of four in a row – Greg Maddux (1994-95), Pat Hentgen (1996) and Roger Clemens (1997).

Then there was that day in 1996 where he revolutionized catching, introducing the modern style of catcher’s mask. He got the idea for the mask while watching hockey, likely thinking about all the foul tips he took off the mask, wondering how to find a safer alternative. He worked with a few manufacturers and Major League Baseball to make the dream a reality.

In December 1997, O’Brien arrived in Chicago as a free agent signing by the White Sox. He collected three hits in the 1998 season opener, becoming the first White Sox catcher with three hits on opening day since Brian Downing in 1977. He only appeared in 57 games with the White Sox before a July 30 trade to the Angels, but he was with the Sox long enough to provide an important Chicago historical footnote. On June 6, 1998, O’Brien became the first White Sox player to hit a regular season home run at Wrigley Field. It came in the 6th inning off Kevin Tapani, and the two-run blast scored Magglio Ordoñez and gave the White Sox a 5-4 lead which they couldn’t hang onto, as they went on to lose 7-6.

In total, O’Brien played 800 games spread out over 15 seasons for eight teams. He hit .221 with 56 home runs in his career (and an additional homer in the 1995 NLCS), but his calling card was his solid defense, as well as being an innovator. His final MLB game was June 21, 2000 for the Expos in Montreal.

After his playing career, O’Brien (who wore No. 22 for most of his career) went on to own the Catch 22 Ranch in Northeastern Oklahoma, where he raises cattle and deer. Charlie and his ranch has been featured on the Pursuit Channel’s TV show “Deer Thugs.” An avid outdoorsman and hunter, he went on to form a company Charlie O’ Products, which sells hunting products. He also wrote a book The Cy Young Catcher along with co-author Doug Wedge, which chronicles his days in the Major Leagues.