Dr. Mike Marshall's Pitching Coach Services

July 17,1976 Sporting News

Marshall is Eager to Give Braves' Bullpen Needed Lift
The Sporting News
by Wayne Minshew
July 17, 1976

ATLANTA, GA:  Mike Marshall wants the baseball, and Braves' manager Dave Bristol is willing to give it to him.  Especially the way things have gone this season in the Braves' bullpen.

Marshall was obtained by the Braves in a waiver deal June 23.  In what was listed as a separate transaction, but what actually amounts to a trade, no matter what baseball's waiver laws are, the contracts of infielder Lee Lacy and relief pitcher Elias Sosa were purchased by the Dodgers.

When the transaction was made known, Marshall, who appeared in a record 106 games for the Dodgers in 1974 when he won the Cy Young Award, said, "I have some friends there who will make things easier.  I'm sure they have explained to the necessary people I'm willing to work hard."

Translated:  "Give me the ball...any time."

Bristol said, "If not getting to pitch in Los Angeles was a problem for him, he's coming to the right place.  I will definitely hand him the ball.  I think we got somebody who can help us in the bullpen, and that has been a problem for us."

Marshall, 33, joins a bullpen which had blown leads after the seventh inning in the Braves' last five defeats at the time of the deal.  A trip to the mound to remove a pitcher almost amounted to a suicide mission.  Bringing in a reliever was like bringing in a time bomb.

Now, Bristol hopes he has a competent pitcher who can work almost daily.

At the time of the whirlwind transaction, Marshall had a 4-3 record with eight saves, two fewer than the entire Braves' bullpen.

Braves' General Manager John Alevizos, who swung the deal from the Atlanta end with help from Bristol and advisor Eddie Robinson, was confident the move was a good one.

"It was a deal we had to make because we had such a dire need in our bullpen.  I felt we had to do something," said Alevizos.

Marshall had a 15-12 record while saving 21 games in 1974 en route to winning the Cy Young Award. He helped pitch the Dodgers to the National League pennant that season.

This past winter, he was involved in a campus problem at Michigan State.  He reportedly pitched and batted balls in a tennis-playing area.  A suit followed amid much publicity.

"I'm told that bothered him and contributed to some of his ineffectiveness this year," said Alevizos.  "But, that's behind him now, and I'm told he is ready to pitch."

Marshall seemed just as happy to depart the Dodgers, apparently feeling the Michigan State incident had much to do with his departure.

"I had the feeling that as long as I was doing well there, they couldn't do anything," he said.  "But as soon as I stumbled, they looked for ways to move me.  They measure performance in their own way.  But a team can trade you at any time...It's an aspect of the game you have to expect.

"And I understand the Michigan State incident was of much concern to them."

At any rate, there is a chance that the Braves' disaster area in the bullpen is receiving aid.

Happy Pitching Everybody

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