Pascual Perez tests positive for drugs again, source says

March 06, 1992

New York Yankees pitcher Pascual Perez, who failed to show up at camp yesterday, has tested positive for drugs and could be facing a one-year suspension, according to a source close to the player.

A spokesman at the commissioner's office would not comment directly on the drug test result, but said a statement would be made today concerning Perez's status. The spokesman said commissioner Fay Vincent was en route from the owner's meetings in Rosemont, Ill. to Florida.

The Yankees would neither confirm nor deny that Perez had failed the drug test.

On April 17, 1984, as a member of the Atlanta Braves, Perez was suspended retroactive to April 3 through May 15 after his Jan. 9 arrest in the Dominican Republic on charges of cocaine possession.

Perez also spent two months in drug rehabilitation while a member of the Montreal Expos before the 1989 season.

To avoid suspension in 1989, Perez agreed he would be suspended for a year if the second test -- from the same urine sample -- is also positive. He would also have to apply to the commissioner for reinstatement.

The source close to Perez, who asked not to be named, told The Associated Press that representatives of the pitcher had yet to meet with the players association.

The New York Times reported in today's editions that Perez decided not to show up at camp when he learned of the results Wednesday night.

Perez, 34, is entering the final season of a three-year, $5.7-million contract. If he is suspended, the Yankees would not have to pay the final year. He made only three starts for the Yankees in 1990 after signing with them as a free agent and underwent rotator cuff surgery Aug. 9 of that year.

Perez was unable to return to the rotation for any length of time until the final seven weeks of last season, when he made 10 starts without interruption. He gave the Yankees 87 2/3 innings in his first two years while compiling a 3-6 record.

* YANKEES: Federal drug agents "threatened to take his pickup, take his home . . . and 'hang' him" if pitcher Steve Howe did not confess to trying to buy cocaine, Howe's lawyer said in Kalispell, Mont.

Defense attorney Pat Sherlock said in a memo that coercion by drug agents "went well beyond any characterization as 'subtle.' " He said the tactics "render the confession involuntary."

Sherlock's written arguments were in support of his motion to suppress the confession. U.S. Magistrate Bart Erickson is scheduled to hear oral arguments Wednesday in Missoula on whether to allow the statement as evidence in Howe's trial on two misdemeanor drug charges.

* WHITE SOX: Bo Jackson doubled and singled in two at-bats in Chicago's exhibition opener, but he again limped around the bases, a sign that he may never fully recover from his hip injury.

Both at-bats resulted in hard hits, but Jackson ran as if he had blisters on the bottom of his feet, high-stepping in the manner of a drum major but maybe not traveling as fast.

"I wouldn't even call it running," Jackson said. "And I'll probably be so sore tomorrow I won't be able to do anything. It's probably going to get worse as time goes on. There will be some days when I'm not able to play.

"When it gets to the point where I can't handle it, I'll move on. My wife always said that when my athletic career was over, she'd take care of me. I guess I'd become 'Mr. Mom.' But we're not at that point yet."

Jackson said he wants to talk to the White Sox about restructuring his contract, perhaps downsizing it.

Meanwhile, Chicago pitcher Atlee Hammaker left the game with a sore elbow and went to the hospital for X-rays after giving up a triple to the Pirates' Jay Bell in the seventh inning.

* CARDINALS: Manager Joe Torre announced his team's lineup for today's exhibition opener against the Orioles: Ray Lankford, center field; Ozzie Smith, shortstop; Felix Jose, right field; Andres Galarraga, first base; Pedro Guerrero, left field; Todd Zeile, third base; Tom Pagnozzi, catcher; and Jose Oquendo, second base.

Bob Tewksbury, 11-12 last season, will start and try to go three innings. He'll be followed by Cris Carpenter and Juan Agosto, each of whom is scheduled for two innings, and Todd Worrell and Lee Smith for one inning each.

* ANGELS: John Orton, who is competing to start at catcher, was sent back to Southern California to have a sore right shoulder examined.

Veteran Lance Parrish said this week that he might ask to be traded if he starts the season on the bench.

* ATHLETICS: The club let go pitcher Eric Show, who had asked to be released from his contract.

General manager Sandy Alderson wouldn't give further details, but it's believed that the ballclub offered to buy out part of Show's $700,000 contract to rid themselves of the player. Show, who missed much of last season with injuries, showed up this spring with painful cuts on both hands and has been unable to pitch.

* RED SOX: Manager Butch Hobson said pitcher John Dopson (Finksburg) is making progress in his recovery from elbow surgery, which has kept him sidelined most of the past two seasons.

"He has a ways to go, but he's making progress," Hobson said, "He's excited. He's not even the same guy I met last year."

* Larry Rosenthal, who played eight seasons in the major leagues from 1936 to 1945, died Wednesday at age 81 in Woodbury, Minn. He played for the White Sox, Indians, Yankees and Athletics. His batting average was .265, including .301 in 1940 with Chicago.

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