Earlier this week a fan favorite of many Met fans from the team’s history Wally Backman resigned as manager of the Mets Triple A team in Las Vegas.
“I chose to resign because I didn’t see a future at the Major League level with the Mets at this time,” Backman said in a statement. “My ultimate goal is to manage in the big leagues or to be hired in a Major League coaching position, and the best avenue to achieve this dream is to seek employment opportunities with other Major League organizations.”
“One of the biggest things I read yesterday was the defiance thing — that I didn’t do,” Backman said in a WFAN interview Tuesday. “Where that came from, I have no idea.”
“I was ready to wait in the Minors,” Backman said on WFAN. “But yes, if [a Major League staff job] had been offered to me, I would have taken it.”
Backman made it clear his issue was not with Terry Collins. The Mets manager wished Backman well.
“Wally and I are very, very good friends. I certainly admired him. He managed like he played. Great intenseness. Great baseball man, very solid,” Collins said. “I hope the best for him. I talked to him yesterday … if there is anything I can do to help, I’d be happy to help. I hope he gets in the right spot and right fit and ultimately gets to where he wants to get to.”
So that means it is his relationship with Sandy Alderson the team’s General Manager that was more of the problem . “We never really … not going to say we didn’t get along … I thought he respected me as a baseball person,” Backman said of the Mets GM. “I don’t think I was the prototypical guy he liked.”
But by no means is this considered a rare thing. Many General managers have people that they like or have relationships from either in the minors or with other teams. And this is the era of sabermetrics so every GM has a book of stats that they expects their manager to follow. But the bottom line is this it is about relationships, Alderson and Backman never had one plain and simple. During his interview on WFAN what Backman failed to understand is that the Mets were not the only team that didn’t feel they wanted him to manage their big league club or offer him a spot on the coaching staff but the other big league teams apparently felt the same way too because none of the other teams came knocking on the Mets door asking for the opportunity to offer Backman a job with their team. I think Wally Backman will eventually get a job with another team, I think in time he will be a good big league manager, but my guess is he is going to have to take a bad team first to really open some eyes. There is still 2 weeks left to the season and whatever clubs don’t make the post season perhaps some will be looking for a new manager…maybe Backman will be on someone’s list.