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New season brings back the old Quentin

The Sports Xchange
Roster Report · New season brings back the old Quentin · Notes, Quotes

The White Sox went into Monday's day off day at 2-1 after an opening series with Cleveland, but they also went in feeling good about one player in particular -- outfielder Carlos Quentin.

After spending the offseason visiting with a "life coach," the tightly-wired Quentin came into spring camp insisting that his days of beating himself up after every failed at-bat would be tempered.

Then he caught fire near the end of camp, hitting five home runs down the stretch, and has carried that into the season, batting .545 (6-for-11) with a home run and seven runs batted in.

The hope from the White Sox is that a new attitude will bring back the old Quentin, or at least the one they had in 2008, who was an MVP candidate before a broken hand cost him the final month of the season. He batted .288 with 36 homers and 100 RBI that season to become an All-Star.

If he can be close to the player he was that year, along with the money the White Sox spent on the lineup by resigning A.J. Pierzynski and Paul Konerko, as well as adding free agent Adam Dunn, the offense could be something special.

"Once you get past (Albert) Pujols and (Miguel) Cabrera, he's right there with the best right-handed hitters in the game," hitting coach Greg Walker said over the weekend. "He's a very dynamic player.

"In '08, Carlos ran it from the first day to the last day. He's capable of doing it. Obviously he's not going to hit .800, but when he's right, he's one of the most dynamic players in the game. There are not many better than him when he's swinging it good."

As far as getting Quentin to try and explain where he's at with his game and knowing his swing, good luck.

"I try to focus on just mentally telling myself it's just another day of playing baseball," Quentin said, when asked of his hot start and the importance of it. "I didn't want to do anything different than what I was doing in spring training."

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