Wally Backman Watch: Wally Wins Again, But It Won’t Matter in the End

If the Mets lose their current series in Los Angeles, Wally Backman will likely be managing the team next week. But don’t get your hopes up – Bob Melvin was set to take over the team back in May. Ownership was going to pull the trigger after the team finished getting annihilated by the Yankees and the Phillies at Citi Field (May 21-27). This is coming from multiple sources that have knowledge of the situation.

Of course, the team won five out of six during that homestand, shutting out the Phillies for an entire three-game series.

And that is the heart of the problem. This isn’t about Jerry or Wally as much as it is about the lack of focus by ownership and the front office. If MetsToday knows that Bob Melvin was ready to take over the team back in May, you can bet Jerry Manuel knew it at the time.

Think about it – Jerry Manuel was going to be fired, but ownership wanted to wait because they felt the team had no chance of winning against the Yankees or the Phillies. That shows no faith in the team that they assembled and it shows no faith in either Jerry or Bob Melvin. It’s like a bad rewrite of the plot of Major League. In short, it’s disgusting.

So, if Jerry knows he is being set up to fail again, then Wally Backman will surely know that he is being set up to fail. And if the manager has no faith in his front office, it follows that the players will lack trust in their manager, GM and owner. It’s a vicious cycle and it shows no sign of letting up.

Another reason not to get your hopes up – if Wally Backman does take over, he will be taking over a team with no chance of making the postseason. Furthermore, there is no way the front office will acquire any outside talent at the trading deadline. In short, the team will be left to twist in the wind for the final two months of the season. Wally Backman may be a fiery manager who deserves a shot to manage in the big leagues, but getting Backman at this point is just a desperate maneuver by a team looking to sell tickets on the memories of the 1986 World Series team.

Anyway, Wally Backman’s Brooklyn Cyclones won again yesterday, defeating the Lowell Spinners by a score of 4-3. The Cyclones remain in first place and now own the New York-Penn League’s best record.

  1. loge mezzanine July 23, 2010 at 11:30 am
    By the way, Jon Heyman is tweeting that Manuel’s replacement will be Bob Melvin – http://twitter.com/SI_JonHeyman/status/19337150076

    This is incorrect. IF Jerry goes, Wally is the replacement. Heyman is reporting based on what was supposed to happen in May. It has been confirmed by our sources.

  2. loge mezzanine July 23, 2010 at 11:32 am
    By the way, it’s unfortunate that Heyman didn’t report that Melvin was the guy back in May. Way to sit on the story, Jon.
  3. Bill July 23, 2010 at 11:43 am
    I literally just finished writing a post about this! If they lose this series and finish 2-9 on the trip, they need to get rid of Jerry. Management has to know that letting the team twist in the wind for 2 months will mean empty seats at Citi. Attendance is down, by almost 5,500 fans per game this year vs. last year. They need a spark and a new, fiery manager, like Wally or Bobby V could wake this team up. Personally I like Wally Backman and think he could do a great job turning things around. Jerry needs to go!
    • loge mezzanine July 23, 2010 at 12:03 pm
      But if you wake up a dog, it’s still a dog.

      I’m not saying the team is dogging it. I’m just using a dog as an example of something that is what it is. The Mets are a losing franchise based on nepotism and favoritism. This is the second time Jeff and Omar botched a managerial change (third time, if you count the Melvin non-hiring back in May).

      Omar needs to go and Jeff needs to go. That’s it.

      Sell. The. Team.

      • Bill July 23, 2010 at 12:33 pm
        Unfortunately Jeff wont’ be selling the team. The Wilpon’s have said they will own the team for years to come. I would think Omar is motivated to turn things around this year b/c his neck is on the line here too. If they don’t make the playoffs, he’s gone. Having said that, I’m not sure how much he will be able to do.

        I understand what you are saying, but this team showed fight for the first 3 months of the season. It played with heart, it fought back, even when down multiple runs. They need something to wake them up and get back to that never quit mentality. They have been sleepwalking since the All Star Break.

  4. gary s. July 23, 2010 at 11:56 am
    Loge Mezz, bingo..hire backman to placate the fan base..just like the stupid bay signing..we see how well that turned out ..
    • loge mezzanine July 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm
      I actually think Backman is the guy for the job. But no one will succeed in this position. And to top it off, Jerry’s firing is being handled worse than Willie’s firing. It’s disgusting.
    • Mike July 23, 2010 at 12:55 pm
      Everyone thought the Beltran signing was dumb after he hit 16 HRs in 2005. they all said his previous year was an aberration and the Mets got fooled by Boras. Well he hit 40 HRs in 2006 and generally been worth the money. Bay will hit for this team, I just wish it were this season.
  5. gary s. July 23, 2010 at 1:05 pm
    bay should have stayed in boston..he turned down 60 mill to sign for 66 mil in queens, putting himself in a must succeed situation in which he has utterly failed..do u think he’s sorry he left boston and the green monster for an extra 6 mill now??
  6. Andy July 23, 2010 at 2:24 pm
    What if they were to put Backman in charge but also trade Bay, Santana and Beltran for prospects? Could they then lower ticket prices?

    BTW I have nothing against Bay, Santana & Beltran, and I think Santana and Beltran have been worth their contracts and Bay probably will be in the long run. However, I really think any and all moves from here have to be rebuilding moves, with a view towards 2011 and beyond. 2010 is sunk.

    • wohjr July 23, 2010 at 3:05 pm
      Andy, you’ve got the right idea but the wrong personnel. Who is giving something of value up for beltran at this point? Could Johan even command ted lilly prospects? Certainly not Cliff Lee prospects, thats for sure. You could maybe make a case for Bay needing a change of scenery but again- are you going to be getting any real value in return? To get decent prospects you’d have to send mondo $$ out the door with him.

      But… there is one person on this team who is signed to a reasonable or even attractive deal, is hitting well, and would be highly coveted by other teams, to the extent that he could command several premium prospects (ARMS PLEASE) in return. He’d be a great second banana somewhere, and speed the turnaround that this team inevitably needs. Who is the Twins’ 3B right now, Nick Punto?

      • Andy July 23, 2010 at 4:24 pm
        I’m gonna go with No. Wright and Reyes are the faces of the franchise, and they are both talented and young. Any other veterans can go, but those two have to stay. Even if they just shed salary and get almost nothing in return by trading Bay, Santana and Beltran I’d rather those guys get traded than Wright or Reyes.
  7. JAM73 July 23, 2010 at 2:44 pm
    IF Wally becomes the next mgr, how long could he possibly last?