Chicago White Sox manager Jeff Torborg, who grew up in New Jersey and maintains two homes there, expressed interest yesterday in "coming home" as the next manager of the New York Mets and said that he would be "foolish not to" listen to them.
White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said that no one from the Mets organization has called the White Sox to ask for permission to talk to Torborg. But Reinsdorf added that he was uncertain what he would do if the Mets requested that permission.
"It would be a very difficult decision," Reinsdorf told Newsday. "Jeff has done a fine job with us. I'm extremely happy with him, and so is [general manager] Ron Schueler. At the same time, I'd hate to contend with all this publicity surrounding it and don't know if I could stand in his way."
Torborg also may become a candidate to manage the New York Yankees if Stump Merrill is fired. Torborg has a long relationship with Yankees general manager Gene Michael.
* MARLINS: President Carl Barger expressed annoyance that his expansion team's record on minority hiring is being criticized by National League president Bill White and Orioles assistant general manager Frank Robinson. Robinson and White are black.
"Frank Robinson ought to worry more about the Baltimore zTC Orioles," Barger said Tuesday. "This annoys me. If we had a track record of ignoring minorities, I could understand it. But we only have a five-man staff in place. I don't want to use inflammatory words, so I'll just say it is awfully premature and awfully disappointing."
* World Series rings and thousands of dollars in other memorabilia stolen from the Las Vegas home of Dick Williams were returned yesterday to the former major-league manager.