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If it's Monday, Joe Torre would absolutely be be interested in managing Mets

September 20, 2010 |  5:10 pm

Torre_400 He’s signaling left. No, wait, that’s right. Hold on, he’s going straight through the intersection. Check that, he’s coming to a complete stop.

Dizzy yet?

It’s Joe Torre at the wheel of his life, and the rest of us are just bewildered spectators trying not be left as mental wreckage.

Let’s recap:

Torre announces Friday he will not return to manage the Dodgers next year, although he’s careful not to completely shut the door on the possibility of managing elsewhere. Though he thinks he’s done.

Saturday aNew York Post story says a close personal friend of Torre’s claims the Mets are the only team that could lure him back to the dugout.

Sunday in the Dodgers dugout Torre denies he’s told any friend any such thing and calls the story "irresponsible.’’

"There’s absolutely no legs to this story,’’ Torre said. "I’ve had absolutely no conversation of any kind, and nobody I know has had a conversation of any kind.’’

Yeah, but that was yesterday.

On Monday, Torre was back in New York to honor George Steinbrenner, and saying there is "no question’’ but that he would consider a return to the Mets -- that he would listen if Mets owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon called about managing the team.

"Oh, there is no question,’’ Torre told's Ian O'Connor. "That is why I didn't shut the door. I saw Freddie [Wilpon] when they unveiled commissioner [Bud] Selig's statue [in Milwaukee,] but we just said hello.’’

Now isn’t that nice?

The body is still warm in L.A. and he’s already flirting with the Mets. That would be the Mets who, by the way, still have a manager, Jerry Manuel.

"I'm honored, you know, that people would think of me,’’ Torre said. "Not too many guys 70 years old, people would think about going somewhere as a manager.’’

Let alone to the circus.

Clearly, despite all his repeated denials, Torre is less interested in giving up managing than in continuing to manage the Dodgers.

All that baloney about how his decision wasn’t affected by Frank McCourt’s shrinking payroll or the uncertainty of team ownership during the divorce was just that -- pure hooey.

Earlier in the day he told a New York radio station that he had yet to speak to anyone about managing another club. After all, it’s been three whole days since he quit the Dodgers.

"I have not had and nobody that I know of has had contact with anybody,’’ Torre told WFAN when asked about the Mets. "I am curious. When the season is over, I hope the phone will be ringing.

"I made the announcement about not coming back to the Dodgers and I left the door open. I don't really anticipate managing again, but I think it would be unfair not to listen just out of curiosity to see if something excites me.’’

Hey, so start the campaign.

The Mets’ payroll is almost $40 million more than the Dodgers’ this season. They, too, have had a disappointing season but no one doubts they will spend to fill holes and move forward.

Unlike a certain franchise in Los Angeles. Hey, I get that. Don’t blame him for any of that. Just be straight about it.

Of course, it’s only Monday. Stay tuned. In two weeks, Torre hopes that phone starts ringing.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Joe Torre. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times