John Harper of the Daily News wrote an extensive article on what the future may hold for Wally Backman now that he has been named the PCL Manager of the Year. He says that if nothing else, the award is just more proof that Backman is a very good minor-league manager who deserves a chance at a big-league job.
Terry Collins is almost a lock to be back in 2015 and everything Harper hears from people in the organization indicates that Sandy Alderson would never tab Backman to manage the team under any circumstances even though he seems to be that “people’s choice.”
The reason for that is Backman is too much of an “I’ll-do-it-my-way personality.”
Harper says that Backman should at the very least join the staff as a bench coach for Terry Collins given Alderson’s apparent lack of regard him as a manager.
However when he ran that scenario by the Mets, the reaction was a fear that Backman’s presence might lead fans to chant his name the first time the ballclub lost five games in a row next season. They see Backman as a threat.
Not surprisingly, he says, the Mets always seem to fear the worst in every situation. Maybe they need someone with Backman’s fearlessness to change that way of thinking.
Backman remains hopeful. “I know what I’m capable of doing. My desires have not changed at all to manage in the big leagues. I think I’ll get an opportunity at some time.”
Unfortunately for Wally, that opportunity will never come in Flushing – not as long as Alderson remains in charge.
It’s a shame really. This team is starving for new leadership and needs a fresh voice and message. I’ll have more on that Monday.
Wally Backman has been named the Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year.
This season the Las Vegas 51’s are 80-61 and are the only team to have clinched their division in the PCL. They led the league in wins, home runs and runs (by 88!).
Hired in 2009 by the Mets, Backman has risen through the ranks managing in Brooklyn. He took over as the Mets Triple-A manager (first the Buffalo Bisons, then the Las Vegas 51s) in 2012.
His last two seasons at AAA have been incredible, winning over 80 games both years.