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GIBSON EXPLAINS TRADE REQUEST

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Kirk Gibson wants to be traded to a team nearer his Michigan home because of a family problem, not because of a desire to leave the Los Angeles Dodgers or to return to the Detroit Tigers, the slugger said in a published interview.

Gibson, who got into a shouting match with Dodgers executive vice president Fred Claire on Sunday, said he would prefer to keep the family matter private."I wish I could be more open with you about everything, but the way things sometimes get blown out of proportion these days, I can't. I think you know what I mean," Gibson told the Long Beach Press-Telegram in a telephone interview Wednesday night from his home in Lapeer, Mich.

Two weeks ago, Gibson was the subject of stories saying he wanted to be traded to Detroit. He spent eight seasons with the Tigers before becoming a free agent and signing a three-year contract with the Dodgers on Feb. 1, 1988.

On Sunday, Gibson met with Claire and Manager Tommy Lasorda to discuss his status with the team. But the closed-door meeting, in Lasorda's office, turned into a shouting match that could be heard throughout the Dodgers' clubhouse.

"That was too bad," Gibson said. "I thought things got pretty much out of hand, certainly more than they should have. It's unfortunate things got out of hand like that.

"I certainly don't have anything against the Los Angeles Dodgers or the city of Los Angeles or the fans," Gibson said. "I was never upset at the Dodgers or anyone else. All I have been is honest, about today, about tomorrow, about next year.

"It's really not up to me at this point," said Gibson. "As far as the future, or beyond this year, we'll just have to wait. I'm under contract to the L.A. Dodgers, and I'll fulfil that contract."

Gibson said he spent the All-Star break "sitting at home." Now, he says, "It's back to business as usual. It's `play ball' and see what happens. I said what I had to say, they said what they had to say. Life goes on. That's the best way to sum it up."