Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth said today he will interview each player who testified in two cocaine-trafficking trials in Pittsburgh and that he will review complete transcripts of their testimony.
His comments came at the end of a 7 1/2-hour owners' meeting here at which guidelines setting criteria for expansion or resale of existing franchises were developed for the dozen or so cities, including Washington, D.C., seeking teams.
However, he declined to reveal the guidelines until representatives in the cities are notified. He said a committee of owners might begin listening to proposals from interested groups as early as November.
But drugs, and what to do about the appearance of impropriety in baseball, Ueberroth said, was the No. 1 topic of discussion today.
"Without question, the owners are determined to rid drugs from baseball," he said. "They told me today, 'Just do anything you can.' "
Jury selection began today in the trial of Jeff Mosco, the third man to stand trial in Pittsburgh for allegedly selling cocaine to major leaguers. Of the seven Pennsylvania men indicted May 31, five have either plea-bargained or been convicted. The seventh, Shelby Greer, is expected to complete a plea-bargaining agreement Tuesday.
But after two hours of jury selection, Mosco's trial was recessed indefinitely until an appeals court rules whether certain testimony by ball players will be admitted. Prosecutors appealed to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court, where Judge Joseph Weis granted a stay in the trial pending a ruling on the matter. A three-judge panel is to meet next Thursday to decide the matter.
Six active and one ex-player testified in the completed trials: Lonnie Smith, Keith Hernandez, Enos Cabell, Dale Berra, Jeff Leonard, Dave Parker and former player John Milner.