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September 09, 1986

The Pittsburgh Pirates' breach-of-contract suit against outfielder Dave Parker will make last year's baseball drug trials "look like a marble shoot," if it ever comes to trial, Parker's agent said.

"This case will involve the history of cocaine in baseball over the last 10 years in a public forum," Thomas Reich said. "And that history is fairly extensive."

In a federal court suit filed last spring, the Pirates are attempting to block more than $5 million in deferred payments owed Parker from a 5-year contract he signed in 1978. The Pirates contend Parker, now with the Cincinnati Reds, breached the contract because his acknowledged use of cocaine impaired the quality of his play.

The trial could prove "excruciating" to some in baseball, Reich said.

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