14A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 13, 2000
Continued from Page IA
single and a Toledo two-base throw-
ing error, the clean-up hitter was
stranded at third by the next three
Finally, there was Rich Hill's
pitching. The southpaw freshman
had the talent to shut down the
Rockets - he struck out eight bat-
ters. If only he had pitched within his
capabilities, maybe Toledo wouldn't
have gotten the eight walks that fed
their scoring innings.
"He's got great stuff, but he still
has to fight overthrowing. I think he
has a tendency to try to strike guys
out instead of letting them hit his
pitch," Zahn said.
But the fact remains that Michigan
didn't make the big plays that could
have elevated them over the hump
against Toledo. And they do enter
into this weekend's Ohio State series
in the Big Ten cellar, three games out
of a playoff spot.
And with a record of 3-9 in con-
ference and 10-19-1 overall, the
Wolverines find themselves teeter-
ing between a team dreaming of
"what could be" and a team remi-
niscing about "what could have
The inside scoop
Even though the Wolverines outhit
Toledo yesterday in their 8-5 loss to the
Rockets, hitting, fielding and pitching
mistakes fortold Michigan's fate. Here's
My blind date: The future looks good
Left on base
DETROIT - Last night I went on
a blind date to the park, and
though our first moments
together were awkward, we gazed into
each other's eyes and worked through the
A close friend told me she would take
my breath away, this sparkling young
lass who dresses in the latest trends, yet
shows an important respect for tradition.
the new home of
the Detroit Tigers.
My friend was
right -this ball-
park is spectacular.
box seats and her
Tiger statues sur-
rounding the park
welcome in even
Opera House - another building stuck
in the middle of a city that once was
great, and could be great again.
This ballpark could bring it all back:
Motown, winning baseball and the temp-
tation for suburban Detroiters to claim
the city as their home once again - not
Grosse Pointe, not Dearborn.
Watch, if the Tigers win a pennant
anytime soon, Detroit's population might
top one million once again, if only so
suburbanites all over Southeast Michigan
can equate their mailing address with
Personally, I'm a sucker for beautiful
ballparks. At the first sight of green
grass, I fall in love as easily as a 13-year
old boy on summer vacation. So the
minute I ventured down into the box
seats, and laid eyes on my evening's
companion, I was sold.
Only problem is, I still have feelings
for my last love, Tiger Stadium.
I grew up with an intimate knowledge
of her every quality - good and bad.
The posts holding up her upper deck
blocked the view of those sitting behind
them - the blue and orange coating
Tiger Stadium's seats were gaudy. But I
cherished the imperfections because I
knew they would reappear every spring.
A ballpark has a way of preserving
sacred memories within her baselines,
whether they happened 75 years ago or
just the other night, in the nightcap of a
- - .
And Tiger Stadium held plenty of
memories for me. I was fortunate
enough to attend the second-to-last game
there last September, a blowout victory
over Kansas City. After the final out I
descended from the press box down
toward the field for one last look at her
brown and green topography. All of a
sudden a surge of emotion swept over
me, as paralyzing as a 100-mile-per-h
fastball. It hadn't dawned on me until
that moment, but I had wandered down
to the handicapped accessible area down
the third base line. This was where my
father and I sat six years ago with his"
grandfather - a 94-year old manWhd
loved baseball more than anything in the
world , yet who was confined to a
wheelchair on that day.
Grandpa Brondyke died a month later
on his birthday, with his soul at rest af
having said goodbye to baseball. My
father - the man who taught methe
game - laid him in the coffin in July
with a baseball in his right hand.
My great-grandpa will live forever,
down the third base line in Tiger
Stadium. And last night, I conveyedthfs
to Comerica Park when we first net
She doesn't hold any sacred memories
for me yet. But if she stands for 100
years, she might.
-Jacob Wheeler can be reached via
email atjwheeler(a umich.eir.
Her spacious outfield and brick walls
behind the bleachers at the power alleys
should please the purists, in time.
Most importantly, its absence of upper
bleachers invites the eye to peer out at
Detroit - a city in dire need of atten-
In straightaway center field, beyond
the team's five World Series champi-
onship banners, the downtown Detroit
Athletic Club monopolizes the eye. Next
door, in right-center field, is the Detroit
Thursday, April 13, 8 p.m.
Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre
_ . . ...,..
Friday, April 14, 8 p.m.
you won't hear
of her mouth.)
St. Matthew Passion
Sunday, April 16, 4 p.m.
University Musical Society -
Classifieds for your campus, on the web.