Pirate star Parker has dropped off the all-star tour of Japan on which 44 major leaguers embark Saturday -- still has fluid on his knee and Rx: rest. But four other Pirtes (plus Tanner as a coach under Tom Lasorda) and on the National League side that takes on the Earl Weaver-managed Al . . . . One of the NLers (who probably also will get a shot against the Bamboo Bambino, Sadaharu Oh, in two games against Japanese stars) is Dave Kingman -- who limbered up, the Mission Bay Marlin Club of San Diego reported yesterday, by catching the biggest marlin ever weighed at the club: 239 pounds. Did it stack up with Cub Kong's 6 feet 6? . . .

As world champions, are you looking for help in the free-agent pool, Buc Gm & pEterson? First name that rolled off his tongue: Tony Perez. Second: Andy Hassler -- yes, the lately -Met lefty who not so long ago lost 17 straight in the AL ("We like him."). Third: Nolan Ryan -- "but we are always careful not to break our salary structure." "And we're ready to meet with Kison and his agent."

Stargell, at 3, an institution already -- the Smithsonian asked for his Series jersey, cap, helmet, etc., and Stargell delivered it yesterday -- was asked by your inquiring reporter to put himself in Willie May's current shoes. (Bowie Kuhn and Chub Feeney were at the lunch too.)

Looking ahead a couple of years, suppose after your playing career you're on a retainer with the Pirates and a lucrative offer to work for a casino comes your way, Will?

"Not time to look that far ahead," Stargell parried. "I'm still a player for the foreseeable future. Then, it would depend upon all the circumstances of the individual instance. One thing I know, though, Willie Mays would never do anything to harm baseball."