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In honor of actor Andy Garcia and his (unintentionally) hilarious reaction to Sofia (Mary Corleone) Coppola's death scene in "The Godfather, Part III."
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1970 Chicago White Sox-The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Posted 07-01-2017 at 10:48 AM by TommyJohn
Updated 06-22-2018 at 06:02 PM by TommyJohn

The good-it was a year of individual accomplishments for the White Sox.

Bill Melton had become the first Sox player to hit 30 home runs in a season, ending up with 33 to go along with 96 RBI and a .263 average.

Carlos May had battled back from the accident which cost him his thumb and nearly ended his career. He had 12 HR, 68 RBI and a .285 average, along with 12 stolen bases. He was an easy choice for AL Comeback Player of the Year.

Ken Berry had his best year at the plate with a .276 average. He also made several acrobatic catches in centerfield, a few of which robbed opposing players of home runs. He was awarded with his first career Gold Glove.

Luis Aparicio hit a career high .313, made the All-Star team and was also awarded a Gold Glove for his defensive play.

Ed Herrmann also kicked in with 19 HR, 52 RBI and a .283 average in 96 games as a catcher.

The bad-The defense gave away more runs than the offense could keep up with. Bill Melton committed 18 errors, including one awful stretch that culminated with his "off-the-nose" miscue in Baltimore. He was so bad he was moved to the outfield until Chuck Tanner arrived and gave Melton a vote of confidence by pronouncing him his future 3rd baseman. Syd O'Brien also led the way with a whopping 25 errors in the infield. The team as a whole was 11th in the 12 team league in defense.

John Matias had won a starting job by hitting .388 in spring training. When the season started he looked completely lost at the plate, hitting .188 in 58 games. He went 0-for-6 in the season finale, which turned out to be the final game of his career.

The ugly-there is no bigger reason for the final record of 56-106 than the pitching. Tommy John had a good year, going 12-17 but with an ERA of 3.27, a tad below the league average of 3.71. He was followed, however, by Joel Horlen (far removed from his 1967 form at 6-16 and 4.86), rookies Gerry Janeski (who started at 7-3 but fell to 10-17, 4.77), and Bart Johnson (4-7, 4.82) and veteran Bob Miller (4-6, 5.01).

The bullpen caused more heartburn than relief. Wilbur Wood provided the relief with a 9-13 record, 2.81 ERA and 21 saves. The heartburn was passed around by Jerry Crider (4-7, 4.45) Danny Murphy (2-3, 5.69) Barry Moore (0-4, 6.37) and Floyd Weaver (1-2, 4.38). Also contributing to the 106 losses were Billy Wynne (5.32 ERA), Don Secrist (5.82), Tommie Sisk (5.40), Gerry Arrigo (12.83) and Lee Stange (5.24), who actually had the only winning record on the entire staff: 1-0.

I would be remiss to forget the great Virle Gene Rounsaville, once described by Tommy John as the most exciting thing on the team. He must not have been referring to Virle's pitching. In 8 games he produced an ERA of 9.95.

The team ERA was 4.54, above the league average by nearly a run and dead last in the American League.

Perhaps one big reason for the shoddy pitching lay in their coach, an ex-pitcher named Hugh Mulcahy. In his career with the Phillies Mulcahy lost 20 games in a season twice. Game results delivered by wire read "Losing Pitcher-Mulcahy" so many times that Philadelphia sportswriters, always known for their sensitivity and compassion, crowned the hurler Hugh "Losing Pitcher" Mulcahy.

One gets the sense that your pitching staff isn't going to win too many ballgames when it is guided by a guy with the nickname "Losing Pitcher." Chuck Tanner would remedy that in 1971.
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