Jim Baumbach wrote a great article for Newsday about Wally Backman and how good it feels for him to be back in baseball. How much he is loving being a manager again and how much he appreciates the Mets giving him his chance again.
I’ve written a few times how I hope, if the axe falls on Jerry, that Backman is named his successor. Backman will bring an edge with him and some grit. Something this team really needs. He’s a no-nonsense type of guy. He’s an old school baseball guy and if he coaches like he plays I think it would be a great change of style for this team.
i talked with enough influential people in St. Lucie to believe backman will not be the team’s first choice to replace Jerry Manuel, should they be in need of a new manager at some point this summer… but, i do think he’s on double deck, or at least in the dugout with a helmet on, so to speak…
It’s somewhat disappointing to read this, but I can understand it. Backman needs to be given some time to prove he isn’t the monster that the Diamondbacks thought he was. He needs to prove himself before he is given the keys to the big club. We wouldn’t want anyone with little experience managing the Mets would we, oh wait … Willie Randolph, oops. I am just not sure if Brooklyn is a great fit, it’s hard to gauge how good a job he is really doing. I don’t understand why he was put in A-ball if it wasn’t for it’s close proximity to Queens for a rapid call up?
He does go on to say something that definitely brought a smile to my face:
i get the impression the Mets look at Backman, Ken Oberkfell and Edgar Alfonzo, and like the idea of these men developing young players and moving up with them through the ranks to the big leagues, like was the case with Davey Johnson and so many of the 1980s Mets… if this is not the plan, it probably should be… this way, there is a loyalty between player and manager that cannot be manufactured through free agency… i think, assuming the team wins, fans will eat that up
Love, love, love this! Also adding Tim Teufel in Binghamton to this idea. I really hope this is the plan. And like Matt says if it isn’t it needs to be. Not sure if I want to see these guys move up over 4-5 years though, that’s sort of why I woulda have liked to seen them in Buffalo in AAA with the next generation like Davis, Thole, FMart, and Mejia. Only time will tell. Backman was one of my favorite players from the 80’s and Fonzie was one of my favorites from the 90’s and I would love to see a movement of trying to keep great Mets like this in the fold and build up relationships.