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March 09, 1988 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-03-09

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Women's Basketball
vs. Illinois
Thursday, 7:30 PM
Crisler Arena

SPORTS

Men's Basketball
vs. Illinois
Tonight, 7 PM
FSPN

The Michigan Daily Wednesday, March 9, 1988 Page7
I i K' No tears shed as Gibson

THE SPORTING VIEWS

packs his bags for L.A.

BY TAYLOR LINCOLN
Kirk Gibson endured considerable booing and
ridicule during his eight years as a Tiger. His
love-hate relationship with the Detroit fans and.
media resembled a stock market curve. There
were times when he was infallible and times
when he could do no right. Incredible highs, in-
credible lows.
Ever since he signed to pack his bags for Los
Angeles, though, Gibson's fan club has come
out of the closet - scorning the Tigers' man-
agement for letting their hero slip away.
Well, the Tigers may not win the East again
this year, but if they fail to repeat, it won't be
because of Gibson's absence. He won't be so
sorely missed.
SURE, GIBBY had his moments. Perhaps
as many as any Tiger in the '80's. His star shone
brightly on many occasions with the Tigers. His
speed, hustle, and dangerous power made him
explosive - a threat to break any game open.
But he also had a long and compensating list
of liabilities. His baseball career started late,
when he decided to shed his shoulder pads one
spring and.experiment with this "second sport."
This coming during his days as a football star at
Michigan State.
And his late start hindered him greatly. Not
only did it prevent him from becoming "the next
Mickey Mantle" as Sparky Anderson once
prophesized for the young Gibson, but it also

kept him from ever becoming a complete player.
Gibson lacks the skills, both with his glove
and his bat, that separate the great players from
the rest.
Though his fielding improved in recent years,
he still displayed a knack for playing deep fly-
balls into doubles off the wall, while his throw-
ing arm depreciated. Last year, it seemed as if all
the players in the American League figured out
that they could score from second base on a sin-
gle to left.
GIBSON also lacked the offensive
fundamentals that the great hitters have. He was
poor at sacrificing to move runners over, and he
could never be counted on to produce a fly ball to
bring the tying or go-ahead run in from third.
This leads to Gibson's Achilles heel -incon-
sistency. He was as notorious for his prolonged
slumps as he was revered for his hot streaks -
which is why his career batting average of .274,
while respectable, is distinctly unspectacular.
Similarly his inability to ever hit over 30
home runs or knock in 100 runs reflects the in-
consistency which has plagued his career.
Throughout his stay with the Tigers, Gibson
billed himself as Mr. Clutch. And many times,
such as the '84 playoffs and World Series, he
lived up to his self-appointed title.
BUT IT WASN'T always the case. In
early August of 1986, for example, Detroit ral-
lied from a low point of 14 games back to pull

within 4 games of the Red Sox.
next ten games were against the
Sox.

Seven of the
front running.

Gibson responded by becoming mired in a
seven-for-39 drought, and striking out 15 times,
as Detroit dropped five of seven to Boston, fading:
out of the picture in '86.
Gibson's inconsistency was not limited to his
productivity on the field, however. His demeanor
off the field was always a point of contention, as
he was frequently criticized for his abrasive man-
ner.
Even in his brightest moments, Gibson's
personality threatened to turn sour. America
found this out within an hour after watching
Gibson's second home run in the fifth and final
game of the 1984 World Series. During the
ensuing victory celebration the same viewership
had an opportunity to watch Gibson shove a fan
to the floor of the Tigers' dugout.
Granted, the person had no business in the
dugout. But being a slightly overzealous fan is
hardly grounds for being spiked to the pavement
by a 220 pound athlete.
"Personality doesn't matter in professional
sports," you say? Well, maybe, but Gibson had
enough liabilities on the field to make his less
than joyous countenance much easier to part
company with.
So long, Kirk.

Daily Photo by KAREN HANDELMAN
Stacy Berg backhands a shot in her singles victory against the University
of Toledo yesterday.

Women

netters

romp

By LORY KNAPP
Refusing to give up even one set,
the women's tennis team trounced
non-Conference opponent, Univer-
sity of Toledo, 9-0 at home yester-
day.
Because they expected to beat the.
Rockets, Michigan shuffled the
lineup to give confidence and prac-
tice to the rookies for their upcom-
ing Big Ten competition.
Stacy Berg, playing No. 1 singles
for the first time, displayed that
confidence and soundly beat her op-
ponent 6-1, 6-3. Berg also com-
bined with All-Big-Ten senior, Tina
Basle, to win the No. 1 doubles
match 6-0, 6-3.
"I wasn't that nervous because
you have to play whoever they put

against you anyway," said Berg.
First-year players Kristin Ashare
and Anna Schork also crushed their
opponents. Ashare won 6-2, 6-1 in
No. 3 singles and, Schork, playing
in her first match, won 6-0, 6-1.
Other singles winners were Leslie
Mackey, No. 2, (6-0, 6-2), an d
Cathy Schmidt, No. 4, (6-4, 6-4).
The rookie combination of
Wendy Stross and Kriste Miner won
their No. 2 doubles 6-3, 6-3 and
Schmidt teamed up with senior
Susie Patlovich to win the No. 3
doubles 6-1, 6-1.
"Sometimes when you are not
pushed its easy to lose concentra-
tion," said coach Bitsy Ritt. "(But)
everybody did a good job."

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I I

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I I

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Thurs.-Sun., Right You Are IffYou Think You Are,
Mar. 10-13 by Pirandello
Presented by University Players
Tickets $9, $6, $4 (students), call 764-0450
Mendelssohn Theatre, 8:00 p.m. (Th-Sat),
2:00 p.m. (Sun)
Fri., Faculty Carillon Recital
Mar. 11 Margo Halsted, University Carillonneur
Music for carillon by contemporary
Dutch composers
Burton Memorial Tower, 7:00 p.m.
FREE.
Fri., Symphony Band/University Choir
Mar. 11 H. Robert Reynolds/Theodore Morrison,
conductors
Russell Woolen: Mass for Choir,
Brass & Winds
Hindesmith: Symphony in B-flat
Ticheli: Music for Brass & Winds
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WEDNESDA Y, March 9
9:30 p.m. Battle of the Bands
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THURSDA Y, March 10
9:30 p.m. Battle of the Bands
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9:00 p.m. Jazz Cafe
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