Alomar says Toronto 'is where I belong'

TORONTO -- Sixteen years after he helped bring consecutive World Series championships to the Blue Jays, retired second baseman Roberto Alomar said Friday that he'd like to work for the franchise someday.

Alomar was one of 35 coaches and players from the 1992 and 1993 championship teams who returned for a reunion this weekend. They played golf and attended a dinner on Thursday, then were honored on the field before Friday night's game against Baltimore.

Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston, who also managed those championship teams, threw out the first pitch to Pat Borders, the MVP of the '92 World Series victory over Atlanta. Alomar got one of the loudest ovations, along with Tony Fernandez, Dave Winfield, Paul Molitor and Joe Carter, whose home run off Mitch Williams clinched the '93 win over Philadelphia.

Alomar, who spent five seasons with the Blue Jays, said he'd like to work in scouting or development and that "baseball has always been in my blood."

"This is what I love to do," he said.

Alomar, who also played for San Diego, Baltimore, Cleveland, the New York Mets, the Chicago White Sox, and Arizona, said he still has a special feeling for the team and city where he won back-to-back titles.

"This is where I belong," Alomar said. "This is where I made my mark."

In March of this year, Alomar and his ex-girlfriend settled her lawsuit claiming he made her have unprotected sex even though he had AIDS.

Ilya Dall had sued Alomar in federal court for $15 million, but her allegations that he demanded sex without a condom despite showing signs of HIV were never corroborated.

General manager J.P. Ricciardi said Alomar has "an open invitation" to work for the Blue Jays, and Gaston said he'd welcome Alomar back in any capacity.

"Robbie would make a good teacher if he wants to do it," Gaston said. "The one thing that always impressed me about Robbie was the confidence he played with, the things he used to tell you he was going to do, he would go out and do them."

As he mingled with a group of former teammates that included Al Leiter, Jimmy Key, John Olerud and Dave Stewart, Alomar called Toronto's back-to-back winners "a family team."

"There was not a lot of ego," Alomar said. "There was no guy bigger than the other."

Jack Morris, who won 21 games in 1992, said Gaston's relaxed management style was a big part of their success.

"He gave us our space, he knew what we were capable of and he just let us go," Morris said. "He always had his hand on top of anything that got out of hand."