On Monday, the Chicago Tribune’s Paul Skrbina caught up with former minor leaguer / son of ex-White Sox/Mets skipper Jeff Torborg, Dale Torborg (above), whose WCW stint as the KISS Demon was followed by a tenure as Marlins strength and conditioning coach. It was during that third act in the younger Torborg’s American life that he had his fateful encounter with Florida reliever Antonio Alfonseca, detailed by Skrbina as follows :
After spending a year on his father’s staff with the Expos as a strength coach in 2001, Dale took the same job with the Marlins the following year, when Jeff took over as manager. He still was moonlighting as a wrestler.
Father and son had been on the job there but a couple of days when Alfonseca locked himself in an office during spring training. According to Jeff Torborg, the story goes that Alfonseca had sworn at Dale and challenged him to a fight after the two had a disagreement about Dale’s request that Alfonseca weigh himself after arriving to spring training.
Jeff was in the middle of a phone conversation with Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria in his office when he heard a noise.
“I said, ‘Dale, is that you?'” Jeff said. “He said, ‘Dad, I’m going to kill your closer.’
“I said, half-jokingly, ‘Don’t kill him till I get off the phone.’ I’m the manager and I’m his father and I’m like, ‘Is he this wild or is this his wrestling mystique?'”
Jeff finally opened the training room door. Dale flew in and stood nose to nose with the 6-5, 250-pound reliever.
He got his apology.