Earl Weaver, the manager of the American League Al-Star team, has not yet decided who his starting pitcher will be for the annual classic Tuesday night, despite published reports that he is favoring his own man, Baltimore's Steve Stone.
Weaver said, "That's false at this point. It might be true, but that's just somebody speculating. He's (Stone) got a good chance to start."
Weaver said he wanted to consult with the Orioles' special scout, Jim Russo, who has been following the NL, before making his decision.
"I'm going to ask him about (Tommy) John (of the Yankees), who know's the National League players. Stone should remember some of the National League guys from his years with the Cubs, too."
Weaver said the final decision will not be announced until the All-Star Game press conference at 10:30 a.m. Monday in Los Angeles "Anything printed between now and then is just speculation," he said.
Stone (3.04 ERA) and John (3.13 ERA) are tied for the best won-lost record in the league at 11-3.Also named to the AL All-Star pitching staff were Larry Gura of the Kansas City Royals, Dave Stieb of the Toronto Blue Jays, Rick Honeycutt of the Seattle Mariners, Rick GOSSAGE of the New York Yankees, Tom Burgmeier of the Boston Red Sox and Ed Farmer of the Chicago White Sox.
Stone said, "Whoa. I've been named a pitcher. I don't know anything about being the starting pitcher. I want to hear it officially and then I'll start celebrating.
The National League pitching staff also was named yesterday.
Steve Carlton, who has a 13-3 record for the Philadelphia Phillies, and Jerry Reuss, who pitched a no-hitter for the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday night and has a 9-2 mark, lead an NL staff with a composite 65-26 won-lost record and a .714 winning percentage.
The others are Jim Bibby of the Pittsburgh Pirates (9-1), Vida Blue of the San Francisco Giants (9-5), J.R. Richard of the Houston Astros (9-4), Bruce Sutter of the Chicago Cubs (3-4 with 18 saves), Kent Tekulve of the Pirates (5-4 with nine saves) and Bob Welch of the Dodgers (8-3).
Bibby, Richard, Tekulve and Welch were selected for the first time. Carlton and Sutter each has been a winning pitcher in at least one All-Star Game.
The National League has won 27 of the last 33 games after trailing, 12-4, in the series after the 1949 game. It leads the series, begun in 1933, 31-18-1.