Reading Eagle - July 8, 1980
Buzas Shocked by Story of Phils and Drugs
By Doyle Dietz, Eagle Sportswriter
Joe Buzas, owner of the Reading Phillies, was shocked this morning when he learned that members of the team were to be questioned by Pennsylvania narcotics authorities concerning alleged drug usage.
According to a copyright story in the Trenton Times, eight members of the Philadelphia Phillies (Greg Luzinski, Mike Schmidt, Larry Bowa and Pete Rose were the only players identified), as well as several members of the Reading team, were to have received amphetamine pills illegally from a “Reading doctor.”
Dr. Patrick A. Mazza is the Reading team physician, and was the team physician when Luzinski, Bowa and Schmidt played in Reading.
When questioned about the story this morning by the Eagle, Mazza had no comment. Buzas refused to believe the story is true.
“There’s no inkling that anything like this is taking place here, as far as the front office is concerned,” Buzas said. “I’m sick; I just can’t believe this is true.”
“I just returned from Bristol this morning, and the first I heard anything about this is when I walked into the office. I have to believe that somebody’s just trying to dig up something to sell papers and be sensational.
“There was a reporter up here from Trenton the other week, but he only talked to me about how the season is going and about the Teutsch incident.” (Buzas was referring to the suit pitcher Mark Teutsch of Glens Falls is bringing against Reading outfielder Wayne Williams for an on-field fight May 17.)
Buzas said that there isn’t anything new about players taking medication to play when they have an injury. “In my day, players took aspirin to play,” Buzas said about his playing days with the New York Yankees in 1945.
“But I just refuse to believe that any of our players are taking illegal drugs,” Buzas said. “This is the finest bunch of boys I’ve had since I’ve been here (three years). The only drugs I know about are drugs the club paid for for Joe Jones’ diabetes. (Jones was a first baseman with the team earlier in the season.)
“There’s no truth to it as far as I’m concerned. I hope it stays that way.”
Howie Bedell, director of Philadllephia’s minor leagues, is on assignment in Tennessee and could not be reached. Manager Ron Clark of Reading could not be reached in Glens Falls, where the team is playing.
Ruly Carpenter, owner of the Philadelphia Phillies, issued the following statement:
“Our policy is we have continually cautioned our players about the use of drugs of any kind in a number of team meetings. Our team physician, Dr. Phillip Marone, also warns the players about the use of drugs.
“Our trainers issue no drugs without a doctor’s prescription. The Phillies have distributed all information that comes to us from the Commissioner’s office about drugs.”
Reading Doctor Called Source of Drugs for Phillies Stars
Pennsylvania narcotics authorities are investigating the possible involvement of at least right members of the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team in the illegal obtaining of amphetamine pills from a Reading doctor.
The investigation evidently began here, sources said.
According to a copyrighted story in today’s Trenton Times, Pete Rose, Mike Schmidt, Greg Luzinski and Larry Bowa are among the players involved.
In addition, players on the Reading Phillies farm team will be questioned by state Bureau of Drug Control agents, the newspaper reported.
According to local sources who declined to be identified, the names of several Phillies players surfaced when state agents routinely checked prescription forms made out by an unidentified Reading doctor.
The investigation, believed to be two or three months old, turned up names of players with the major league club and their wives, and with the minor league club.
One source said he had been aware of the investigation for several weeks, but added he did not know the name of the doctor involved.
The story in the Trenton Times also did not reveal the doctor’s name.
Meanwhile, the state attorney general’s office this morning issued a terse, two-sentence statement on the drug control bureau’s investigation.
“It is the policy of the Pennsylvania Department of Justice not to comment on reports of this kind. Consistent with that policy, we have no comment on the article in today’s Trenton Times.”
Sources here said local authorities were not called into the investigation by state agents, but heard rumors of the investigation.
The story in the Trenton Times was read to him over the telephone by an Eagle reporter.
No charges have been filed against any players, the doctors of a “runner” who allegedly distributed the drugs, the Times story said.
According to the story, the doctor allegedly handed out prescriptions for amphetamines without the required physical or oral examination. State law requires those examinations before the pills can be distributed.
Weaver, AL Look for Win
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Earl Weaver managed the American League All-Stars the last time they won and he’d like nothing better than to duplicate the feat tonight after an eight-year drought.
The Baltimore skipper took umbrage when Pittsburgh relief pitching ace Kent Tekulve told an audience that the National League had won the last eight and 16 of the last 17 because the players were faster afoot.
“We’ve had speed,” Weaver retorted, and then pointed out that in an All-Star Game it’s mostly pitching and hitting without too much strategy unless maybe the score is tied in the eighth inning.
“Then we might try to steal,” he said.
Weaver named right-hander Steve Stone of his own pitching staff to start against the National Leaguers, whose Manager Chuck Tanner picked fireball throwing right-hander J.R. Richard of Houston to start.
It was almost Mutt and Jeff when the two hurlers stood together for photos. Richard looms 6-feet-8 and Stone goes 5-10.
Richard depends on his fastball because “that’s what it’s all about.”
Stone has more of an assortment.
Each pitcher can work a maximum of three innings under All-Star rules, and each squad has plenty of outstanding successors for Richard, with his 10-4 record in 1980, and Stone with his 12-3.
Weaver even suggested that relief pitchers work an inning between the stints of the starters because “they can warm up faster and you don’t know when they might be needed.”
American League president Lee MacPhail, who has had to rule on altercations between Weaver and various umpires, said he thought the punishment of this All-Star Game might be the most harsh.
“He has Paul Molitor, George Brett and Jim Rice sitting on the bench and he can’t use any of them,” commented the league president in noting that the top vote-getters in three positions are on the injured list.
Weaver chose Willie Randolph of the New York Yankees to replace Milwaukee’s Molitor at second base, Graig Nettles to start at third base instead of Kansas City’s Brett and Ben Ogilvie of Milwaukee to take over for Rice of Boston.
Weaver said he chose Stone over such other stars as Tommy John of the Yankees, Larry Gura of the Kansas City Royals, Rick Honeycutt of the Seattle Mariners, and Dave Stieb of the Toronto Blue Jays “because he was coming off three days’ rest.”
Tanner said Richard was chosen over Steve Carlton of the Philadelphia Phillies and Jerry Reuss of the host Dodgers for the same reason.
Weaver, handling the designated visiting team, named a batting order with Randolph at second; Rod Carew, California Angels, 1b; Fred Lynn, Boston, cf; Reggie Jackson, New York Yankees, rf; Ogilvie, Milwaukee, lf; Carlton Fisk, Boston, c; Nettles, Yankees, 3b; Bucky Dent, Yankees, ss; and Stone.
Tanner, with the NL as the home club, listed Davey Lopes, Dodgers, 2b; Reggie Smith, Dodgers, rf; Dave Parker, Pittsburgh, cf; Steve Garvey, Dodgers, 1b; Johnny Bench, Cincinnati, c; Dave Kingman, Chicago Cubs, lf; Ken Reitz, St. Louis, 3b; Bill Russell, Los Angeles, ss; and Richard.
Parker was named the MVP in 1979 when the NL won 7-6 with a run in the ninth inning.
St. Louis shortstop Garry Templeton was among those who decided to skip the game because the fans voted others to starting jobs. Templeton was hitting 36 points higher than Russell when the balloting was concluded.
The Dodgers’ Smith, who had an argument over All-Star Game tickets two years ago, said there was no such trouble this time, but added: “I’m here because the fans voted for me. I’d rather be fishing.”
His teammate, Garvey, who was voted Most Valuable Player in the 1974 and 1978 All-Star Games and is back again, said: “It is an honor and privilege to play with your peers.”
Alan Trammell, the Detroit shortstop who was runner-up to Dent in the AL vote, said: “Being one of the 28 on the squad is an honor to me. You know there are new faces coming up in the American League. This is the first year for a lot of us and we haven’t tasted defeat. We want to win this game.”
Carew, selected to his 14th All-Star squad, wasn’t talking much to the media but he did admit there was still a thrill to being in the game because “otherwise I wouldn’t be here.”