The Chicago Cubs are the most recent, but not the only major league team that has contacted the Baltimore Orioles so far this season to request permission to talk to Earl Weaver about coming out of retirment to manage.
"There have been a couple of clubs already who have called to ask permission to speak to Earl," said Baltimore owner Edward Bennett Williams, who has seen that the messages were relayed to Weaver. "Each time, Earl has told us, 'I have absolutely no interest (in returning to managing).' "
Williams has said that any team that wants to hire Weaver while he is still under contract to the Orioles (through the 1984 season) would probably have to offer the Orioles a player in trade.
"I certainly don't expect that we've seen the last of teams putting out feelers to Earl through us," said Williams.
The perennial second-division Cubs are one team that has contacted the Orioles to ask permission to talk to Weaver, according to sources. The Cubs have not won a pennant since World War II, which may explain Weaver's having "absolutely no interest."
In turn, the Cubs' general manager, Dallas Green, said through a team spokesman last night, "We have no intention of changing our manager. We're happy right where we are."
Chicago Manager Lee Elia jeopardized his own job earlier this season when he blasted Cubs fans in a postgame tirade, then later had to make a public apology. "Eighty-five percent of the world is working, but the 15 percent who come out here to Wrigley Field have nothing better to do than heap abuse and criticism on the team," Elia had said. "Why don't they go out and look for jobs?"
Because Weaver has chosen to remain among the 15 percent, Elia is still part of the 85 percent.
"I didn't know there was more than one team interested in me," said Weaver when told of Williams' remark yesterday that "a couple" had called the Orioles. "When Mr. Williams called, I told him, 'Right at this time, I have no interest.' "
For the present, Weaver says he is content to work on his golf; his handicap is down to eight after a 78 yesterday. He is also "doing my homework" for his ABC-TV Monday night game broadcasts that will start June 6, as well as writing a weekly newspaper column.
Weaver, who keeps up with all Orioles' goings-on, had a word of advice for pitcher Jim Palmer, who is still on the disabled list--in part, according to Palmer, because a chiropractor who manipulated him hurt a biceps muscle in his pitching arm.
"Aw, Jimmy shouldn't have gone to a chiropractor," said Weaver, now free to second-guess like any other fan.