On January 26, 2000,
NetShrine was
privileged to interview
former Major League

All-Star and 1974 N.L.
Cy Young Award Winner
Dr. Mike Marshall. 

Through his accomplishments during his 14-year Major League Baseball playing career with the Detroit Tigers, Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros, Montreal Expos, Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins, and New York Mets, Dr. Mike Marshall has established himself as one of the most durable relief pitchers in the history of the game.  In 1974, while on his way to winning the Cy Young Award,  Mike set the Major League record for most games pitched in a season (with 106) while also leading the N.L. in saves.  To date, he still holds both the Major League record for most games pitched in a season and most games finished with 84 in 1979.  In fact, no other Major League pitcher has finished 80+ games in a season while Dr. Mike Marshall has done it twice (1974 and 1979).   

In addition to his record-setting playing career, Dr. Mike Marshall has excelled in the academic arena as well.  In June 1978, he earned a Doctor of Science degree in the Physiology of Exercise with a cognate degree in Physiological Psychology from Michigan State University - with a specialization in Kinesiology and Motor Skill Acquisition.  Dr. Marshall also studied Physical Education, Gross Biomedical Anatomy, and Child Growth and Development at M.S.U.

After his playing career, Mike spent several years coaching college baseball.  It is from this coaching experience, coupled with his own experiences as a player along with his academic studies, that Dr. Marshall has forged his collective work of ideas on coaching pitchers - for both adults and adolescents.  And, these concepts can be found on the Internet at "Dr. Mike Marshall's Pitching Coach Services" at www.drmikemarshall.com.  NetShrine recommends that you take advantage of this information.  Very few people know as much about pitching as Dr. Mike Marshall.  Oh, but first, check out our interview............

When you were young, who was your favorite big league player?
Dr. Mike Marshall:  My Dad.

Which baseball movie do you enjoy best?
Dr. Mike Marshall:  Bull Durham.

What's the weirdest thing you ever saw on a ball field?
Dr. Mike Marshall:  Nothing comes immediately to mind.

FILL IN THE BLANK: "I'll never forget where I was when _______ ."
Dr. Mike Marshall:  My three daughters were born.

Who's the person you would most like to meet?
Dr. Mike Marshall:  Nobody comes to mind.

What's your current personal exercise routine?
Dr. Mike Marshall:  I jog.

How important are nutritional supplements to enhancing performance?
Dr. Mike Marshall:  Costly poop.

Describe the reaction you receive most often from people when you mention that your specialization is in Kinesiology.
Dr. Mike Marshall:  I don't mention it.  But, in very rare circumstances, they are curious as to what it means.

What do you believe is the most common mistake made by a coach?
Dr. Mike Marshall:  Thinking that they know something without having any background in Kinesiology, Applied Anatomy and Motor Learning, Development and Skill Acquisition.

Should pitchers "cheat"?
Dr. Mike Marshall:  No.

Intermission Lightning Round:

Tropicana or Budweiser?
Marshall:  I don't drink.
DH or no DH?
Marshall:  No Designated Hitter.
Elvis or Madonna?
Marshall:  I hope both lived and live, respectively, happy and fulfilling lives.
Night game or day game?
Marshall:  Night Tuesdays through Fridays, Day on Saturdays and Sundays.
Imported or domestic?
Marshall:  What?  If beer, I don't drink.  If otherwise, the world is one community.
Box seats or bleachers?
Marshall:  I don't attend. But, I suppose either is fine unless you enjoy watching how the pitches move, then watch television.

Back to the bigger questions......

If you could change one thing in baseball, what would it be?
Dr. Mike Marshall:  For the amateur game, return to wood bats. For the 10-12 and 13-14 year old game, I would remove the pitcher entirely and reduce the innings to no more than two per game, respectively.
  For the professional game, I would have every team pay a percentage of their total revenues to the Major League Baseball Players Association and permit the MLBPA to distribute salaries based on the normal curve at every level of professional baseball. I would eliminate salary arbitration and free agency.

In the clutch, did you go with your strength or attack your opponents' weakness?
Dr. Mike Marshall:  I train pitchers to have strengths for every hitter's weakness.

Of all the batters you faced, who was the toughest to retire?
Dr. Mike Marshall:  Milbourne, I forget his first name.

Is there one particular body type which is more favorable for pitching?
Dr. Mike Marshall:  No, the baseball does not know the body type of the person applying force and release spin.

Are the majority of today's professional baseball players in better physical condition than those from 25 years ago?
Dr. Mike Marshall:  Yes, but it could be much more specific fitness.

Who is your best friend from baseball?
Dr. Mike Marshall:  I don't communicate with anyone daily, but Red Adams and I speak at Christmas. I do have fond memories of others, but we live our own lives now.

Is it true that the "best" pitch in baseball is "strike one"?
Dr. Mike Marshall:  The highest batting average hitters achieve is in their one pitch at bats. Therefore, while strike one is very good, it has to be a pitch that does not allow hits. The key to pitching is one ball two strikes rather than two balls one strike. The first pitch is important, but the next two pitches are just as important.

To what extreme is it acceptable when moving a batter off the plate?
Dr. Mike Marshall:  When pitchers have limited pitching resources, they resort to intimidation. But, a five and one-quarter ounce baseball hitting a batter should be no big deal. I taught my players how to get hit. No batter should be bothered by an inside pitch if properly trained to react.

If "The Fonz" was a baseball player, what position would he play?
Dr. Mike Marshall:  Who cares?

What is the strangest memento that you've kept from your days as a big leaguer?
Dr. Mike Marshall:  I keep most of my awards in the attic, nothing else.

That's it.  Once again, our thanks to Dr. Marshall for granting NetShrine this interview!

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