On his first day as manager of the New York Mets, Jeff Torborg had a message: Meetings and discipline are in, and mental mistakes are out.
Torborg was introduced as Bud Harrelson's successor yesterday, a day after agreeing to a four-year deal said to be worth more than $1.5 million. He made clear that the loose management of Davey Johnson and Harrelson was over. And Torborg also seemed to be answering George Steinbrenner's old evaluation that he was "too nice a guy" to manage.
"We'll do things the way I want it done," said Torborg, who resigned as Chicago White Sox manager.
And that means 15- to 30-minute meetings before every game, drills on fundamentals and post-game tirades, when necessary.
"I deal one-on-one with the players," Torborg said. "If I have to close the door and deal with it in a tough way, it'll be done."
That's a contrast to Harrelson, who once admitted not going to the pitcher's mound because he didn't want to get booed. Mets general manager Al Harazin made it clear the team was hiring from outside the organization for a reason.
"They'll have to adjust themselves to him," Harazin said. "They're going to have to learn to adjust to the system he puts in."
* BREWERS: Astros third-base coach Phil Garner, a former Oakland teammate of Sal Bando's, will be interviewed for the managerial job.
Bando, the Brewers' new senior vice president of baseball operations, told the Milwaukee Journal he had received permission from Houston to interview Garner.
* ANGELS: A Houston appeals court ruled there was insufficient evidence to support a woman's claim that she and outfielder Dave Winfield shared a three-year, common-law marriage.
The 2-1 ruling by the First Court of Appeals yesterday overturned a 1989 decision that triggered divorce and property settlement hearings that led to a $1.6 million award to Sandra Renfro, and a $3,500 a month child support order for their daughter, Lauren Shanel.
Both Winfield and Renfro have married other spouses.