Alderson And Byrnes Would Not Favor Hiring Backman?
Updated Post 9:00 AM
Last week Ken Rosenthal reported that both Sandy Alderson and Josh Byrnes had Wally Backman on their short list of potential managers. It was met with some skepticism by many as it was the only name leaked.
Several sources are now reporting that when Byrnes and Alderson have their followup interviews this week with Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, one of the things they will be asked is which managers would they consider, suggesting that this was not discussed in the initial meeting.
Joel Sherman of the NY Post adds this,
It is believed that neither of the finalists would favor hiring Wally Backman as manager.
Draw your own conclusions.
Original Post 10/22 7:00 PM
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, both Alderson and Byrnes presented lists of four or five managerial candidates in their initial interviews with Jeff Wilpon. Each of their lists included Mets Class A manager Wally Backman, sources said.
DJ Short of NBC Sports believes that could pose a problem.
I can see how some people may have a problem with this. And I’m not even talking about his history with domestic violence. I’m talking about the perception battle. By now, we know that the Mets like Backman. He appears to be in good standing with the organization after leading the Brooklyn Cyclones to a division title. It’s very possible that Byrnes and Alderson value him too, but should Backman end up getting hired, the public perception will be that ownership led the new GM to their first significant decision. That’s probably not a good idea.
The full-autonomy tag is silly anyway, as I realize that ownership is in on almost every significant decision, but the Mets have been losing this perception battle for years now. Part of this offseason facelift must be about attempting to change that perception, perhaps more than the actual players on the field.
I can certainly see where this could lead to a very short honeymoon for Wally Backman, and the perception that he was Wilpon’s choice will hang over Backman regardless of whether it’s true or not.
This could spell the beginning of another soap opera. I can already see the headlines in the sports pages and hear the talking heads on SNY and WFAN going crazy with this for a very long time. It’s probably not fair to Wally, but the heat will certainly be on.
I don’t think this was the kind of change Mets fans might have been looking for. I’m not talking about hiring Backman, who I love, but how the media will continuously find a reason to pound the Mets no matter what they do. It’s not fair to the team or to the fans.
About the Author: Rob Johnson
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