Philadelphia Daily News - November 22, 1980

Accused Pill Doc Not Close to Team

 

By Mark Manoff

 

READING – Dr. Patrick Mazza, charged yesterday with illegally prescribing amphetamines in the names of five Philadelphia Phillies' players, is the Reading Phillies team doctor, but his contact with the Phils' farm team has been extremely limited in recent years, team owner Joseph J. Buzas said last night.

 

"I've only seen Dr. Mazza three times in four years," Buzas said in a telephone interview after the Reading physician was accused of writing prescriptions in the names of Greg Luzinski, Pete Rose, Steve Carlton, Randy Lerch and Larry Christenson, former player Tim McCarver, Luzinski's wife, Jean, and Sheena Bowa, wife of Phils' shortstop Larry Bowa.

 

IN BRINGING CHARGES against Mazza, 56, Robert L. Masley, 54, and his son Robert M., 24, state Justice Department officials emphasized there was no evidence that any of the eight knew their names were on prescriptions used to obtain the drugs – or that they received any of the potent stimulants.

 

The two Masleys, charged with fraudulently having the prescriptions filled at Reading pharmacies and receiving the drugs, were described by Buzas as having taken part in various Reading team activities in the 1970s.

 

Bill Giles, Phillies' executive vice president, said the Masleys were never connected with the Reading farm team. "They were boosters and sold group tickets," he said.

 

According to Buzas, Mazza enjoyed good relations with the players who passed through the Phils' Reading team in the 1970s. "He was good to the ballplayers. They liked him," said Buzas, who bought the team in 1977.

 

BUT HE SAID Mazza had been used sparingly in recent years, primarily as a consultant when a player was ill before a game.

 

Justice Department spokesman Stephan Rosenfeld said all eight people whose names were used on the prescriptions would testify for the prosecution. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for December 18.

 

The state charged that Mazza wrote 23 prescriptions from February 1978, through the spring of 1980 for a total of 2,630 pills "beyond the scope of the doctor-patient relationship." The Masleys had the prescriptions filled at pharmacies, usually indicating they represented the Phillies, according to the charges.

 

Neither the defendants nor their attorney, Emmanuel H. Dimitriou, could be reached for comment.

 

THE INVESTIGATION was first publicly revealed in a July story by the Trenton Times that said a Reading doctor was writing prescriptions for a number of Phillies players without performing medical examinations and a runner was distributing the pills to the players.

 

 

Several of the players complained bitterly that the press inaccurately linked them to a drug probe. Yesterday's charges indicated there was no evidence the players knew their names were used nor that they received any drugs from the Masleys.