Cincinnati Reds outfielder Dave Parker says he has no reason to apologize for using cocaine while playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates, although his offensive output fell sharply the years he used drugs.
Parker said the publicity he received for testifying in a federal cocaine trial in Pittsburgh last summer, when he admitted using the drug on a regular basis from 1980 to 1982, cost him last year's National League most valuable player award.
Parker said he used cocaine "for recreation. I never had a problem."
"Why should I be sorry?" Parker said when asked by the Pittsburgh Press. "It's something I did. I'm not sorry about anything I do. It was a fad. I used it recreationally. I never went through rehabilitation. I never missed a game . . . .
"It was just something that happened and the strong ones pull away from it and the weak ones get caught up in it. I was very fortunate to have the mental toughness that I do."
Parker said he accepted Commissioner Peter Ueberroth's recent disciplinary terms in lieu of suspension because he wanted to put the drug incident behind him.
Chicago Cubs pitching ace Rick Sutcliffe got a thumbs-up sign from X-rays that showed his right thumb was not broken, only jammed, when hit by a batted ball Sunday. The Cubs said Sutcliffe, who was on the disabled list three times last year, might pitch again later in the week in Arizona, depending on his progress.
Shortstop Ozzie Smith of the St. Louis Cardinals said in St. Petersburg, Fla., he has been throwing without pain and expects to play in the field for the first time in spring training sometime this week. Smith spent the winter recovering from a tear in his right shoulder.
In Smith's absence, Jose Oquendo has played well for the Cardinals, yesterday driving in two runs with a triple and scoring on a squeeze bunt in a 6-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox.