WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- Anybody who has talked with Mike Marshall in the past three weeks knew it was coming. Frustrated by the prospect of being a bench player with the Boston Red Sox, Marshall capped his relocation campaign yesterday by quietly walking out of camp.
Marshall, who was not in the starting lineup against Cincinnati yesterday, took batting practice before the game with the Red Sox substitutes. He then requested a meeting with manager Joe Morgan.
"He told me he was thinking of walking out and I told him if he did, it would be insubordination," Morgan said after the game. "But he elected to do it. It will be dealt with in an in-house manner. That's all I have to say."
Marshall, a first baseman-outfielder with a .270 average in nearly nine major-league seasons, could not be reached for comment. But his defection seemed almost inevitable since the offseason, when the Red Sox re-signed Tom Brunansky to play rightfield, signed free agent Jack Clark to be the designated hitter and brought non-roster rookie Mo Vaughn to camp to fight for the first base job.
Marshall, who asked to be traded from the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets in the past two years, asked the Red Sox to trade him during the winter. He reiterated that request as soon as he set foot in camp.
"If I can't play here, I'd rather go someplace where I can play," he told general manager Lou Gorman, who claims other clubs have shown no interest in Marshall.
Marshall talked about going to Japan to play. He even said he would consider retiring and going back to school if he wasn't a starter someplace.
Morgan tried to showcase him, but Marshall feigned sickness one day and then missed almost a week because of legitimate illness. Marshall went on a tear when he finally got in the lineup.