(since retiring as a player, Wally has obtained plenty of experience being fucked over in the majors)
“When somebody needs an ass-chewing, I’ll do it, but I take a lot of things into consideration when I do it.” That’s how Brooklyn Cyclones skipper Wally Backman — passed over last week when the Mets opted for Terry Collins as their new manager — describes his hothead reputation. Given that Backman is awaiting his 2010 Mets minor league assignment (“I was hired by the Diamondbacks out of ‘A’ ball, so I don’t think the level really matters,”), perhaps the following quotes, served up by the New York Daily News’ John Harper, should not be framed as an ass-chewing of GM Sandy Alderson?
“I really thought I won them over,” Backman said by phone Friday from his home in Oregon. “I came out of each interview thinking it had gone better than the one with the Diamondbacks when I got the job there (in 2004).
“I knew what was being said (in the media), that the other guys were the favorites, but I kept looking at it, thinking I could make them see that I was the best guy for the job. I guess I didn’t convince them.”
In any case, Backman doesn’t agree that major league experience should have been a significant factor in the decision, as Alderson asserted.
“I didn’t think experience should have been a factor,” Backman said. “Managing a game is managing a game, and I don’t think it’s different dealing with players whether it’s the majors or the minors.
“It’s all about motivating in different ways. You have 25 different personalities and you have to be a psychologist. If you’re a people person, it’s not that hard. I really enjoy that part of the job, and my players respond to it.
“And the whole New York thing, the media, I would think that would have been the least of their worries. I played there, I know what it’s about. I know it can be good and bad, but that’s part of the excitement of New York.”
Though I’d have preferred to see Backman get the gig ahead of Collins — if for no other reason than continued cheap shots at the Mets’ former 2B are much, much easier than coming up with original ideas —- there’s something a little weird about his citing his 4 day tenure as Arizona manager as any sort of criteria for what the rebuilding Mets should consider. Indeed, the Diamondbacks hired Wally despite a rather modest tenure managing MLB-affiliated minor league clubs. We all know how well that worked out. Now that Backman has put in all of one entire season in the NY-Penn League, he feels deserving, if not entitled to a big league managerial position. But if Backman’s paid his dues, where does that leave Gary Carter, Ryne Sandberg, or to look within the Mets’ own organization, Tim Teufel or Ken Oberkfell?