|Dr. Mike Marshall's Pitching Coach Services|
March 14,1975 New York Times
New York Times
March 14, 1975
by Red Smith
Walter Alston said Mike Marshall was still up at Michigan State teaching kinesiology and working for his doctorate in physiological psychology, but had sent word that he was joining the Dodgers Sunday and would expect to pitch Monday.
For the world's least defatigable relief pitcher, spring training is a stern regimen consisting of unzipping his windbreaker.  He is then ready to work in 106 games during the championship season, two during the pennant playoff and five during the World Series, one-third of the Dodgers' scheduled games, and all their World Series games.
At least, that satisfied them last year; he may demand more action this season.  "I had heard how often he wanted to pitch and how often he could pitch," Alston said, and didn't have to add he was content to wait and see for himself.
In 1973, Marshall had set a major league record by appearing in 92 games, but that was for the Montreal Expos, who finished fourth in a six-team division.  Could any mortal carry such a load for a team racing cheek-and-jowl with Cincinnati's formidable Reds? Alston's self-deprecating grin said:  "Did I find out?  Did I ever!"
"Three or four times," the manager said, "I told him, `Mike, you know what you're doing.  Any time you want to rest a day or two days a week, tell me.'  He said, `I'll let you know.'  I haven't heard from him yet.
"He throws and runs and works out all winter.  He's always fit physically, and I guess he's always ready mentally.  He contradicts most of our old notions about conditioning.  We thought the pitcher had to wear a long-sleeved sweatshirt, keep the arm warm, all that stuff.  Not him."
"The professor of kinesiology," a man said, "believes he knows more about the human body, more about physical condition, than you or me or the bat boy over there."
"You think he don't," Walter said.
"I think I had to keep him in six innings one day and four the next," the manager said.  "How long he could keep that up, I don't know.  All I know is he worked in 13 straight games and looked better in the 12th and 13th than in the first and second.
"A pitcher like Sandy Koufax or Don Drysdale, if he threw 50 pitches, 45 of them would have everything he had on 'em.  I don't mean Marshall doesn't give 100 per dent on each pitch, but if he threw 50, I don't think he would go all out that often.  He knows what he wants every pitch to do.  He throws to spots, gives you that screwball, and once in a while busts the real hard one through.
"One big advantage, he only wants eight or 10 pitches to warm up.  You know how it is, you've got a lead in the seventh and bang, bang, two pitches and you're in trouble before you can telephone the bull pen.  With a guy like Marshall, you can walk out to the mound and back and he's ready.
"No, I don't think having him changes my tactics any.  Knowing that he's available doesn't prompt me to take Don Sutton or Andy Messersmith out any sooner than I would otherwise.  Maybe with a lesser pitcher working I might move a little earlier.
"If Sutton or somebody goes nine innings one day and Marshall doesn't get in the next day, you can bet your tail he'll be out there throwing batting practice the following day.  We went into Cincinnati for a series with the chief contenders and he hadn't pitched for two days.  So he pitched batting practice and he pitched in the game, and probably in the next game, too."