Friday Mets Links: Wally B or Bobby V? – Marty Noble thinks Wally Backman should be the Mets next manager. – Jeff Pearlman thinks the Mets are baseball’s worst franchise and Bobby Valentine should be the next manager.

No more links for today. This is the most important discussion in the Mets-o-sphere for the next 3 months. Both Noble and Pearlman make excellent points and the Mets would be better off with either manager. What do YOU think?

  1. Mike August 20, 2010 at 9:44 am
    I am actually going to read both articles and report back in a few minutes. You are right that this is the most important issue with the team right now. I have always been a Bobby V supporter but Joe has made me a huge Wally “back”er.
  2. gary s. August 20, 2010 at 9:46 am
    is wes westrum available?? snoop called the players pathetic..he’s right for once.of course, for the last year and a half his managing has been pathetic also..seems to have finally infected the entire team..will somebody please fire this guy and take him out of his misery
  3. Mike August 20, 2010 at 10:03 am
    Okay, neither really says anything new or presents any argument that makes me want to stand on one side of this debate and fight for that guy.

    I think both managers would have a positive impact on this team. Bobby V brings experience, positive energy, and a fan following from better times ten years ago. He also brings the caveat that he needs to have significant front office say. Who honestly believes that, if given this, he would NOT do a good job of making this team likable again at the very least. The underdog mentality, the overachievers, the rag tag group of scrappy hustlers and gamers would pervade this team and give us something to root for. I absolutely want that again. I know what I am getting from Bobby V. But I’m not so sure the Wilpons are willing to go back in that direction and give Bobby the control he wants. I believe this is why he does not have a job today. I also believe Bobby is thinking about the Mets because he could have had a job or two by now, probably not to the degree of control he desires. He clearly is holding out for something. Maybe it is the Cubs job. I don’t know for sure. Bobby V would be the sure thing, we know what we are getting, choice. Is he the right choice though?

    Wally, from all accounts on here and around the internets, we be exactly the kind of winner the team needs. Similar to Bobby, we know that we are getting passion, hard work, and low tolerance for complacency. Wally would bring a fire and energy that this team needs desperately. I also think he brings less control issues for the front office to consider. Wally is going to go to battle with the troops he is given. He would not have much say in the front office affairs, at least not initially. I think the Mets like that because they are clearly torn on Omar. They don’t want to pay him to not work for them but I think they know he is struggling in his current position. They might have plans to move him to a different position in the front office and bring someone in to be GM, and Bobby would not fit into that plan very well. Wally would.

    I think on the field, in the dugout, in the locker room these two are so similar in term of what the bring to the team. Bobby accomplishes this with less outward appearance and more tact than Wally seems to. Wally would make more noise and the fanbase would know more about Wally’s impact on the team because he is much more opaque than Bobby. I honestly think from this perspective you can’t lose with these two. How the front office decides to go forward I don’t really know, but I hope they do the right thing. I also hope that it truly is between these two because I cannot consider anyone else for this job. In my mind anyone else would be a lame move by the Mets.

  4. Andy August 20, 2010 at 10:23 am
    I still like Wally as manager and Bobby V as GM, but it can wait until the off-season.
  5. 86mets August 20, 2010 at 11:13 am
    How about neither as the next manager? The Mets have another guy toiling away in the minors who actually KNOWS the young players the Mets are trying to build around and has been very loyal to this franchise. His name? Ken Oberkfell. Why has his name NEVER, not ONCE come up in discussion about the next Mets manager? That is a crying shame. I am not on the Wally Backman bandwagon. Sure, he’s a former Met with spunk and fire and the team needs a little of that.

    But in this case, I think Oberkfell makes much more sense for the Mets “IF” they go with a guy who has never managed in the Major Leagues. The one major advantage he has is that he knows and has managed almost all the Mets young “core” guys at one time or another. Guys like Jose Reyes, Jason Bay (2002 St. Lucie), Mike Pelfrey, Jon Neise, Fernando Martinez, Josh Thole, Bobby Parnell, Ike Davis , Reuben Tejeda, Chris Carter, even lesser prospects like Tobi Stoner & Dillon Gee have played for Obie. Not to mention vets like Manny Acosta, Pat Misch, and R.A. Dickey have played for him this year at Buffalo. And how many of these guys has Wally Backman manged? Plus, he’s never managed above AA while Obie has 4 years with the Mets AAA teams in New Orleans & Buffalo.

    All I’m saying here is why is everyone ‘assuming’ that the only two options the Mets have are Backman and Valentine? Why not consider others who are just as qualified to run the Mets, and in Oberkfells’ case maybe more qualified? Just a thought.

    • loge mezzanine August 20, 2010 at 11:39 am
      Nobody is saying the Mets only have two options. I am only saying that they should consider the best options.
    • Joe Janish August 20, 2010 at 2:31 pm
      Oberkfell has a career winning percentage of .488 over 10 years of managing. How does that qualify him?
    • Andy August 20, 2010 at 2:38 pm
      I think Oberkfell is a good idea. And since working with young players seems to be Backman’s strong suit, promoting Oberkfell would seem to create an opening to promote Backman to manage in Buffalo or Bingamton.
      • Joe Janish August 20, 2010 at 2:53 pm
        Why is Oberkfell a good idea?

        I’m not being a smart ass, I simply want a reason other than “he knows the young players”.

        Personally I am not interested in hiring someone who has lost 52% of the games he’s managed.

  6. marathonmet August 20, 2010 at 12:24 pm
    Backman or Bobby V? Will either make a difference if Minaya is still managing the roster?

    I agree that Manuel must go. He seems to be a good guy, but he had his chance and he didn’t succeed: terrible bullpen use, confusing in game tactics and its pretty obvious that the current mets players do not respond to his leadership style. He certainly didn’t get the best out of this team.

    So back to the question: Backman or Valentine?

    Backman’s leadership style is a dramatic change. Will the current mets respond? We don’t know. He has a winning record in all his previous teams, so I imagine that his in game tactics and overall use of his rersources is above average. But, Backman needs a GM with experience, who is willing to back him. With Minaya around, in an undefined role, its difficult to think that Backman will have his chance.

    Bobby V on the other hand, is at a different stage in his career. He has declared that he wants his voice to be heard on roster management. He actually sounds like he would like a role between being GM and managing. Does that exist? His experience and his knowledge will definately have a positive impact. Its a sure thing, but again, with Minaya in an undefined role, can Bobby V succeed. A good mix with Bobby V would be a GM with solid business qualifications and the need to rely on an experienced baseball man.

    In the end, Backman, Valentine or who ever, will depend on the fate of Minaya.

    • marathonmet August 20, 2010 at 12:36 pm
      After re-reading, a final comment:

      I would love to see the Mets make a mayor management overhaul, turn the business over to a solid GM. In that case, my choice would be to bring back Bobby V.

      Since they probably won’t make the mayor management overhaul, then hopefully who ever is in charge, has the guts to give Backman a shot.

  7. Warren August 20, 2010 at 12:31 pm
    I don’t agree that manager is the most important issue. Even if Connie Mack was managing the Mets they still don’t have enough talent in the everyday lineup. GM is the real key (aside from the fact that I doubt they’ll win as long as the Wilpons own the team due to their constant meddling).

    Incidentally, I’ve also wondered why Ken Oberkfell’s name is never mentioned for manager.

    • Joe Janish August 20, 2010 at 2:34 pm
      The thing is, Oberkfell’s name IS mentioned, and has been mentioned, ever since Randolph was fired. He is ALWAYS brought up by someone, for reasons unknown … maybe it’s an “out of the box” idea, I don’t know.

      Why Oberkfell? He’s led one team to a first-place finish in 10 years, and has a career W-L record below .500.

      Though I guess it would fit right into the Mets’ way of promoting / rewarding people for mediocrity.

  8. gary s. August 20, 2010 at 12:42 pm
    obie is a good possibilty.. the wilnots can hire him cheaply..since they appear to be out of money, obie would pass the candidate test..
  9. MatthewA August 20, 2010 at 1:09 pm
    None of the above! None of the above!
  10. stogie August 20, 2010 at 2:47 pm
    wilpons, don’t sell the team and keep minaya and manual so i can continue to suffer. maybe i need to be a fan of that team in the bronx
  11. stogie August 20, 2010 at 2:54 pm
    but seriously, i believe that the wilpons want to win, they just don’t know how to hire a solid management team and let them do what they are paid to do. does anyone really believe that minaya ever had full autonomy? if so, you probably believe in santa claus too. the reality is that minaya had very little flexibility to make moves this year and in years past (pre-madoff), he still had to run everything through little wilpon. that is no way to run a team.

    as for manager, if a good gm is allowed to do his job the right way, then that gm will hire a manager who shares his vision. and that manager will bring in a team of coaches to help him.

    • loge mezzanine August 20, 2010 at 8:13 pm
      I would love to see Bobby Valentine back with the Mets (though I’d prefer Wally Backman), but let’s not forget that Bobby was very confrontational with the NY media. He didn’t take criticism well at all.
  12. acoustic567 August 20, 2010 at 3:56 pm
    In one sense, Backman presents a big risk: We don’t really know how he will react when things go south and the media starts to challenge him a little bit. I like that Backman can light a fire under his players, but in NY you also have to be savvy in your dealings with the outside world. Bobby V at least has plenty of experience with that.
    • Joe Janish August 21, 2010 at 12:50 am
      Well, we don’t really know how ANY man will react to the NYC press (other than those who have been there before). Backman is no less or more a risk than anyone else. Willie Randolph was awful at dealing with the media, but he still managed to take the Mets to the playoffs once.

      And in fact, one could argue that Omar Minaya has been an absolute disaster when the media has challenged him — on several occasions. But, Minaya still has his job and the Mets are still an MLB club.