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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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April 16,1974

Posted 12-16-2017 at 03:32 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 07-05-2018 at 08:25 PM by TommyJohn

April 16,1974
vs. Oakland A's
at Oakland-Alameda Coliseum

The White Sox stumble out of the gate after opening day, losing their next four to drop to 0-5. Interspersed with the losses are two ties, one with the Angels which was called after 10 innings due to temps in the 30s, a 22 mile an hour wind and a snowfall which made it hard for the players to see the ball.

Wilbur Wood brought the streak to a halt on the 13th, but the determined Sox started a new one the next day.

The game this night against Oakland saw the more of the same frustration. The supposedly strong Sox offense could not get it going against A's pitching.

The Sox took two leads against the A's, but the now two-time defending World Series champions erased them both times.

The second time came in the 6th, with the Sox and Wood leading 2-1. Jesus Alou hit a grounder to Bucky Dent, who fielded it cleanly and tossed an on-the-mark throw to Dick Allen, who dropped it. Sal Bando made the Sox pay when he cracked a two run home run to give the A's a 3-2 lead.

Allen had a chance to atone for his error in the 8th, when he stepped up to the plate with two on and one out and the Sox down 4-3. A run had already crossed the plate on an error and the Sox had a great chance to keep the momentum flowing their way. Rollie Fingers came in, faced down Allen and worked the count to 3-2 before blowing strike three right by the Sox slugger. Bill Melton then flew out to end the threat. Fingers finished off the Sox in the 9th to seal the 4-3 win.

The loss dropped the Sox to 1-8, their worst start since 1968, when they started 0-10 and the entire franchise was on life support.

Two years earlier, Allen would've ended the 8th inning standoff with a tremendous blast to the nether regions of the Coliseum to give the Sox the lead. Not this time. The swagger that was present in 1972 seemed gone. Just after Opening Day Allen told columnist Robert Markus that he had seriously considered retiring just before the season started. The reasons he gave were various, among them that he felt his presence on the team might be hurting Chuck Tanner; and how he began to think that Chicago was just the same as Philadelphia, St. Louis and Los Angeles after all in terms of the fans. Also, he told Markus "But if there ever comes a time when I can't get along with all the guys in here [teammates] I'll just go home."

Markus wrote "I left Dick Allen feeling that I had been talking to a ticking time bomb."

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