The All-Chicago team, 1970-1979

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The All-Chicago team, 1970-1979

By Tony Andracki and JJ Stankevitz
CSNChicago.com
This spring, we at Cubs Talk and White Sox Talk have decided to unify Chicago's two baseball teams into one in an effort to pick out the best players to grace each side of the city over the last 50 years. Each Wednesday during spring training, we'll roll out a different All-Chicago team, beginning today with the best Cubs and White Sox players from 1970-1979. If you didn't catch our first three installments, check out our 1980-1989, 1990-1999 and 2000-2011 teams.

Tony: There were quite a few Cubs guys from this era that many youngsters would even know. Guys like Steve Stone, Randy Hundley, Don Kessinger, Glenn Beckert. And then, of course, the Hall of Famers Ron Santo, Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins. Stone didnt win his Cy Young until later in his career with the Orioles, but the Stone Pony pitched for both Chicago teams in the decade and has been a TV personality for each team at some point since. It was a close battle between him and Milt Pappas, but the novelty of having a guy like Stony Pony on the list was just too good to pass up.

JJ: There wasn't a whole lot separating Stone from the rest of the fifth starter pack here. Leaving Pappas off was tough, but at least we're not Bruce Froemming.

Tony: In a lot of ways, this was a simple list to compile. Williams, Santo, Melton and Allen were locks. May, Kingman and Madlock were great players and JJ and I both agreed they needed to be on the team, it was just a matter of where. Kingman earned the final bench spot thanks to his stellar 1979 season in which he led the league with 48 homers and a .613 slugging percentage while knocking in 115 and scoring 97. It was arguably the best single season power performance in Chicago in the decade, so we couldnt leave him off the list.

JJ: Well, Dick Allen might have something to say about that. His 1972 was the second best single season ever by a White Sox player, although in terms of pure power, yeah, Kingman probably has him beat. Allen only had a 1.023 OPS and 37 home runs that year.

Tony: Pitching was also pretty easy as two guys from each team earned the nod. The only question was for the fifth starter spot.

JJ: My god, look at that bullpen. That Terry Forster had to be bumped off the closer line is a real testament to its strength. I don't think we've had a better one in these all-city teams, and that's with the 2000s unit of Bobby Jenks, Carlos Marmol and Matt Thornton.

Tony: I cant say I didnt try for Hundley to be the All-70s catcher, but his numbers were just not very good in the decade and while Downing wasnt head and shoulders better, his .351 OBP was the tipping point.

JJ: It was a valiant effort, but Hundley only spent four years with the Cubs in the decade and owns a .296 OBP in his career on the North Side. And he doesn't get bonus points for his son being part of the deal that netted the Cubs Mark Grudzielanek and Eric Karros.

To the roster:

C: Brian Downing
1B: Dick Allen
2B: Bill Madlock
SS: Don Kessinger
3B: Ron Santo
LF: Billy Williams
CF: Chet Lemon
RF: Rick Monday
DH: Bill Melton

Utility: Carlos May
Utility: Dave Kingman

SP: Wilbur Wood
SP: Fergie Jenkins
SP: Rick Reuschel
SP: Jim Kaat
SP: Steve Stone

CL: Bruce Sutter
RHP: Goose Gossage
LHP: Terry Forster

Check back next week for the all-city team of the 1960s! Chuck and Kap will be back next week to offer up their thoughts on the roster, too.

Confident Jose Quintana gets 'back to who he's always been'

Confident Jose Quintana gets 'back to who he's always been'

The White Sox said all along they were confident Jose Quintana would rebound and now that he has no seems the least bit surprised.

Quintana provided yet another round of proof that he’s far removed from those May woes when he silenced the New York Yankees on Tuesday night. While the left-hander earned a no decision, he was rewarded when the White Sox rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Yankees at Guaranteed Rate Field. Quintana finished June with a 1.78 ERA.

“We have a very good relationship, very good communication,” teammate Jose Abreu said through an interpreter. “When (Quintana) was passing through that, the first two months, I let him know, just keep your confidence, don’t hesitate, do your job, keep working hard because we have confidence in you. Now he’s just showing us what he’s capable of doing and doing what he’s been doing his whole career. We’re glad he’s the same Jose Quintana he’s been the last couple of years.”

Quintana has gone from a period where many of his mistakes got hit to a spot where he’s been borderline untouchable. He limited the second-best offense in the American League to two hits and four walks in 6 1/3 scoreless innings on Tuesday. With good fastball command and a sharp curve, Quintana had New York hitters out of whack.

This is a much different pitcher than the one who was tagged by the Boston Red Sox on May 30, an outing after which he said he was embarrassed. Since losing to Boston, Quintana has lowered his ERA from 5.30 to 4.37. In that span, Quintana has allowed 21 hits and six earned runs with 12 walks and 30 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings.

“Sometime bad games are going to happen,” Quintana said. “But when it happens, I go check the video to see if I’m doing something wrong and try to make adjustments. But I feel pretty good and I have my confidence high and for me I turn the page and focus on the next one.”

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The 2016 All-Star thrived in the few instances when he got into trouble on Tuesday.

He struck out Tyler Austin with two men in scoring position to end the fourth inning and erased a leadoff walk in the fifth with an Austin Romine double play. After Quintana surrendered a two-out double to Judge in the sixth inning, he got Sanchez to pop out to strand the tying run.

Quintana only threw strikes on 55 of 101 pitches on Tuesday. But, of those 55, 10 were swings and misses.

“It's just been him commanding the zone, attacking,” manager Rick Renteria said. “A lot more strikes. He still had some at-bats today where he got to 3-2, but then he'd execute, he'd finish and make a pitch that induced a very weak fly ball or groundballs. That's who he is, I mean you all have seen him like this before. For us it's just seeing him get back to who he's always been.”

White Sox come back to beat Yankees on walk-off single by Jose Abreu

White Sox come back to beat Yankees on walk-off single by Jose Abreu

Jose Abreu was able to shake off an earlier disappointment once he got a second chance on Tuesday night.

Batting with the bases loaded for the second straight inning, Abreu took advantage of the moment and lifted the White Sox to a much-needed victory with a walk-off single. Abreu’s two-out, two-run single off Dellin Betances helped the White Sox snap a four-game losing streak with a 4-3 win in front of 18,023 at Guaranteed Rate Field. The White Sox also loaded the bases in the eighth inning but only scored once and were down to their final out before Abreu’s heroics brought them back.

“If you just focus on the bad things that happen then you’re just missing opportunities,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “In the inning after that at-bat that I struck out I was just thinking, ‘God, just give me one more opportunity. Give me one more opportunity to do my job’ and I was glad that I got it because I was able to win that game.”

“It was a very special moment. We needed it. We needed this game. We needed the celebration.”

It all came a little too late for Jose Quintana, who earned a no decision in spite of 6 1/3 scoreless innings. But given they had the winning run on board in a one-run loss on Monday and only scored once despite loading the bases with no outs in the eighth, the White Sox will take it.

Abreu, who struck out against Tyler Clippard in the eighth with no outs after three straight walks, got ahead of Betances 2-1 in the count before he singled through the left side to score the tying and go-ahead runs. Alen Hanson, who entered as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning, scored the winning run. Hanson followed a one-out walk of Kevan Smith (the first of his career) with his second free pass in as many trips. Betances hit Yolmer Sanchez to load the bases with one out before he induced a Melky Cabrera short fly out. Abreu finished 2-for-5 with three RBIs and has driven in 51 this season.

“Today I can gladly say we didn’t fall short,” manager Rick Renteria said. “I can gladly say they finished out the game coming back, putting the final run on the board to put them over the top. They should experience that, enjoy it and use it to their advantage in terms of understanding what we are capable of doing.”

The White Sox were 0-40 this season when trailing after eight innings before Tuesday's rally.

Quintana earned the 63rd no decision of his career when the Yankees broke through in the eighth inning against Tommy Kahnle, who had a rare poor performance. Kahnle gave up a game-tying, two-out single to Aaron Judge and a two-run double to Gary Sanchez as the White Sox went from up a run to trailing 3-1.

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The White Sox loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the eighth on all walks, but only scored once. Abreu struck out, Avisail Garcia flew out and Matt Davidson also whiffed to leave the bases loaded. The White Sox lone run came on a two-out walk by Todd Frazier.

The same offensive woes kept them from breaking out with Quintana on the hill. While they provided lavish run support in his previous two starts, the White Sox were back to their old ways with Quintana on Tuesday. They did give him a 1-0 lead when Abreu cued a two-out RBI double off Luis Severino in the third inning.

But Severino was otherwise a machine as he struck out 12 batters and walked none.

Quintana was even better, limiting the Yankees to nothing. He allowed two hits, walked four and struck out six. Though he didn’t earn the victory individually, Quintana was more than pleased to see his teammates pile onto Abreu in between first and second base after the walk-off single.

“That was what we want every time,” Quintana said. “We try to do the best on the mound and keep the games close and something good happens.”