Toni Linhart, true to his vow upon getting the Baltimore ax Sept. 20 on the heels of his Colt raise Sept. 16 in the Bob Irsay-wacky aftermath of an abject kicking performance in Cleveland, is back in the league.

The New York Jets, having quickly seen enough of former Saint kicker Rich Szaro as replacement for injured Pat Leahy in the Monday nighter against Minesota, picked up Linhart. The 37-year-old Austrian, on leaving the Colts after five years, swore he could still boot 'em. Will he still be around Shea Stadium to prove it to Irsay, Ted Marchibroda & Co. when Baltimore comes in for a Dec. 2 rematch? Will they? . . .

ABC-TV waited nine years to carry a Monday night game from Shea Stadium; it might be another nine till the next. Fifteen people were sent to hospitals, three security guards were injured and two alleged boozy rowdies were arrested after the Jets beat the Vikings.

A mob dashed onto the field as the game ended. Bottles flew -- "full bottles, broken bottles, I never saw anything like it," a nurse onduty at the ballpark said. A security officer added, "Worst I've ever seen, and I've been here 10 years -- even for the (1967 Mets) World Series victory." Fun City . . .

Verily Earl Weaver can manage, say those who (we guess) know best -- the other major league managers.Polled by The Sporting News, they voted Baltimore's finest the one of the year, a repeat of his 1977 honor. Close runner-up: Houston's Bill Virdon (who previously helped hone the Pirates as a Chuck Tanner predecessor) . . . (