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Open letter from Dr. Mike Marshall

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dear Sir,

A reader of my website sent me a copies of your articles “Joe Williams: Not Your Normal Prospect” posted on May 18, 2009 and “Does the Cardinals’ signing of Joe Williams have a deeper meaning?”, May 21, 2009.

After fourteen years of pitching major league baseball, I know that writers do not verify everything that they write and I am too old to care. Nevertheless, I have to take exception to something that Mr. Strauss said.

Mr. Strauss wrote,

“Marshall has been seeking audiences with numerous major-league organizations trying to regain a toe-hold in the industry.”

I am working as hard as I can to teach those in professional baseball how to eliminate all pitching injuries. However, I am not trying to regain a toe-hold in the industry, as though I ever had a toe-hold in professional baseball.

However, in your May 18, 2009 article, you got it right.

You wrote,

“Apparently not every organization is constrained by tradition, which has a direct relation to how Williams became a Cardinal. St. Louis Vice President of Scouting and Player Development Jeff Luhnow recently asked Marshall to come down to Extended Spring Training (EST) in Jupiter, FL to meet with his staff.”

The Cardinals invited me to explain how to eliminate pitching injuries. Actually, before spring training 2006, to learn how I train baseball pitchers, the Cardinals sent someone to my Baseball Pitching Research/Training Center. At the end of that session, I had convinced this young man that I knew how to eliminate pitching injuries.

Unfortunately, they decided to go another way.

Then, this spring, Mr. Luhnow invited me to Jupiter, FL and, after my presentation, as you wrote,

“Shortly after, Williams was invited to participate in the Cardinals’ camp, where he must have shown enough to the coaches to snag a contract.”

Joe’s mission was to prove that baseball pitchers I train can pitch every day without discomfort.

That Joe successfully pitched in eight of the thirteen games available apparently convinced the Cardinals that Joe had sufficient talent to invite Joe back into professional baseball.

I believe that, considering the circumstances, Joe did exceptionally well.

That they terminated Joe’s opportunity is unfortunate, nevertheless, it showed Joe that, with a real opportunity, he could become a major league pitcher. Where we go from here is the question.

Lastly, I want to thank you for writing,

“Even that may seem threatening to some, but I wonder what harm could be caused in being open-minded about new and different ways to teach and learn. Still, in a tradition-laden environment like baseball or journalism for that matter, old ways die hard and new ones are notoriously slow to take root.”


Dr. Mike Marshall

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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