Yesterday, we wrote about the fact that Wally Backman would likely not be returning to the Mets organization next season. This morning, Mike Puma of the New York Post shed some more light on the situation. In an article that also discussed the expectation that Terry Collins will return to manage the team in 2014 (this has been widely known), Puma recounted a few stories/anecdotes. Here’s the first:
According to sources, Backman considered tendering his resignation near the end of spring training because he was unhappy receiving orders from team officials about playing time for certain individuals. Backman then angered Alderson later in the season, with comments about how he would fix Ike Davis, after the first baseman was demoted to Las Vegas.
The first sentence of that blurb may be what eliminated Backman from any future consideration for the Mets’ managerial gig. Sandy Alderson and his crew don’t want a loose cannon at the helm. If Backman had any hope of being considered if/when the big chair opened, he would’ve been wise to not create a fuss about receiving orders regarding playing time for some of his players.
However, if Puma is correct, and Backman “angered” Alderson by saying he would fix Ike Davis, it’s likely that his fate was sealed long before he ruffled any feathers around the end of spring training. Backman received a player (Davis) who was a mess, and he said he would fix him. If confidence in his ability and and optimistic tone regarding Ike Davis “angered” Alderson, that’s a damn shame.
The other key piece of Puma’s article goes over the same thing we discussed yesterday – that adding Backman to the big league coaching staff would likely create an uncomfortable situation:
Look for Backman to land in another organization next season, unless the Mets are willing to give him a shot on the major league coaching staff. But such an addition could create an uncomfortable situation because of the mostly-false perception that Backman would be the manager in waiting.
According to Puma, Alderson has made it known that there’s close to no chance he would ever hire Backman to manage the big club. However, that fact wouldn’t matter to fans who want to see Backman at the helm – making Backman’s presence on the big league coaching staff a recipe for disaster.
I wouldn’t be surprised if a team took a shot on Backman as their manager as soon as next year, but I think it’s far more likely that he winds up on another team’s big league coaching staff.