Wally Backman To Nationals?

According to Mike Puma of The New York Post, Wally Backman may be moving on to the Washington Nationals to join Davey Johnson’s coaching staff in 2012.

Per Puma’s “source”, Johnson would groom Backman to be his heir apparent, and eventually take over as manager of the Nats.

If indeed there is truth to this rumor, it would explain why Sandy Alderson stepped around the question of where Backman would be in the Mets organization next year. When asked whether Backman would be back in Binghamton or in Buffalo, or as part of Terry Collin’s big-league staff, the GM was non-committal.

It would make perfect sense for Wally to move on from the Mets, considering that his ultimate goal is to be a Major League manager, he’s not getting any younger, and it does not appear as though he’ll have the opportunity to be a manager in Flushing anytime soon — since the Mets picked up Collins’ option to continue managing through 2013. Additionally, Backman is not seen as in the running for the coveted positions of bench coach nor third-base coach for Collins in 2012; generally speaking, those are the two roles often used as stepping stones toward managing.

What do you think? Should Wally move on to DC? Post your thoughts in the comments.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Izzy October 11, 2011 at 8:59 am
    If Wally has the options its his career choice and nobody can tell him its right or wrong. What’s the path to managing? Certainly there is no sure path. Recent managerial pick Robin Ventura didn’t seem to do anything except be friends with the right folks. From my persepctive, Davey Johnson is a brilliant baseball mind. I’d rather be working for him in the major leagues than working as a manager in Buffalo for an organization that has turned me down for the job I want. Plus From reports in DC Davey has the ear of the DC ownership and if he really wants to groom Backman oit seems like a great career place to be,
  2. Joe October 11, 2011 at 10:40 am
    A bit surprised Davey Johnson is coming back … thought it was just a temp job ala the Marlins.
  3. Timo October 11, 2011 at 10:40 am
    Kudos to Wally! He should be the bench coach for the Nats. Unfortunately, the Mets are a long way from being good. Also, Davey is not going to be the coach for long. It gives Wally the best way to manage in the big leagues. I think he’ll be a great coach and WISH the Mets would have made him the coach. The SAD news is that we may get the Nats reject manager for a bench coach and the Nats would get Wally. NOT the swap I would want.

    Also, Joey. The new 3rd base coach is Timmy Teufel so he maybe the next head coach (if our new bench coach doesn’t take over in 2014). Also your “buddy” Ricky Bones will help our pitchers in the bullpen.
    Our coaching staff changes every year. I can’t keep up with it. We need to keep it consistent so our players don’t get 100 different ways to do things. I’m not a big fan of our pitching coach but he’s been around for awhile. Our starting pitching isn’t horrible and is pretty good. This may have something to do with it.

    • Izzy October 11, 2011 at 4:14 pm
      Yeah Timo what a choice Riggelman would be. He Could teach the guys how to quit!
    • Joe Janish October 12, 2011 at 12:50 am
      Timo I agree. If Wally goes to Washington it’s a good move for him. Timmy Teufel is a tough S.O.B. so I wouldn’t mind him as manager of the Mets some day. Ricky Bones, on the other hand …. meh …

      And regarding Dan Warthen, well, I don’t know that the pitching coach matters much unless he is extraordinary (Dave Duncan, Mike Maddux, Brad Arnsberg) or extremely hands-on (Rick Peterson, Tom House). Another year of Warthen could be as significant as changing the type of infield soil.

  4. SiddFinch October 11, 2011 at 11:31 pm
    According to MLB.com, Wally is staying. Somewhat surprising.
  5. Walnutz15 October 12, 2011 at 7:46 am
    As of last night, Bill Ladson of MLB.com wrote that Backman wasn’t going to join the Nats — take this for what it’s worth, as it was only a Tweet:

    “I was just informed that the report about Wally Backman possibly joining the #Nats as a Major League coach is not true. #MLB #Mets”

    My own take on “Backman to the Nats to work under Davey”?

    Makes perfect sense; and he should do it – post-haste if he wants to manage in the Big Leagues anytime soon.

    While it might take another season, just to say he “has true Major League coaching experience under his belt” – I’d imagine his path to the dugout is quicker (and more certain) if goes there.

    ……………unless there’s some sort of “behind the scenes” shake from Alderson on it coming to fruition here.

    Davey’s always loved Backman – and for the most part, there’s not a better fit in terms of learning.

    I think that if the Mets truly wanted Backman to manage here, it would have happened already.

    May as well do what’s best for your career…..rather than waste another year in The Bush Leagues.

    ………..but that’s just me – and only Wally knows the best decision for himself, based on what he’s been told by the organization.

    As fas as “Teflon Dan” Warthen is concerned….I think he’s being protected by his buddies – the Wilpons, in whatever capacity – and that the real pitching coach (Ricky Bones) will be doing a majority of the pitching stuff with the guys in the pen.

    One doesn’t have to look very far to see that he’s had better success with guys at Triple-A, than anything Warthen’s actually done with the arms at the Major League-level.

    Warthen’s philosophy: “pitch to your strengths….even if they don’t work.”

    Nevermind trying to develop anything, just throw what you think is best…….even if it’s terrible.

    Hopefully, we see some kind of “magical resurgence under Warthen” this year – meanwhile, you probably won’t have to look very far to see who the pitchers will really be working with.

  6. John W October 12, 2011 at 1:01 pm
    I SO wish Backman had left just so it would put a damper on all of the incessant ass-kicking that Janish does of Backman.

    Grow up, man – he’s another adult. You don’t need to worship the guy.

    Unfortunately Backman is staying.

    • Wally Backman October 12, 2011 at 1:56 pm
      Joe Janish has never kicked my ass, J-Dubs.
    • Joe Janish October 12, 2011 at 11:16 pm
      So, every time I mention Wally Backman I’m “worshiping” him? Huh. What does that say about Mike Pelfrey, Jose Reyes, Justin Turner, or any of the other men whom I’ve written about ten times more often than Wally?

      I openly admit to being a supporter of Wally Backman, and admit to having written articles in the past that positioned him as a strong leader and managerial candidate. But this particular post is devoid of “ass kicking” (whatever that’s supposed to mean), propaganda, opinion, and rhetoric — it’s a news story. That said it seems to me that you have more of a fixation with Wally than I.

      So what was it? Did he bang your wife? Bag a bigger buck on a hunting trip? Refuse to sign an autograph? I’m sure everyone here would love to hear the story behind your obvious obsession with being anti-Backman — so tell it! the process may be cathartic and help you move on.

  7. Jeff October 12, 2011 at 10:50 pm
    Wally should move on. Timmy Tuff has paid his dues far longer than Wally in the Mets organization and it would be unfair to promise anything to Wally. Unfair to Timmy Tuff. Unfair to Terry Collins. I’d hate to see Wally in a Nats uniform (especially paired with Davey), but it’s a move he has to make if it’s there for him. And besides, Wally’s Binghamton team was 11 games under .500 last year. Not that it’s necessarily his fault, but I don’t see where Wally has the right to expect to barrel right on in to the Mets dugout as bench coach at this point…..
  8. Rafa October 13, 2011 at 9:24 am
    He’s right: Joe blows Backman. The constant fawning is unnecessary and excessive. Including the stupid T-shirt and all.
    • Joe Janish October 14, 2011 at 11:40 pm
      Rafa, what’s your real name? I ask because do you know what’s fascinating? Both you and “John W” (and “Rodeo”, and “Big John”, and “Jack”, and “T-Minus”, and the list of noms de plume goes on and on …) are using the EXACT SAME COMPUTER to post your comments. I guess you’re all roommates, or use the same library PC. Or, hmm, maybe you’re the same person and making a weak attempt to create support for yourself — while hiding behind a fake name?

      Ah, that’s the beauty of the internet, isn’t it? You can talk big behind a curtain, never having to worry about facing the human beings you criticize. Quite courageous. Whatever works for you.

      Please understand that while you revel in your yellow-bellied comments directed toward me, there are many other human beings visiting here who find your verbiage vulgar, disrespectful, self-serving, and completely useless in forwarding conversation. This blog is about stimulating conversation among Mets fans, and if you’re not going to participate according to the discourse conventions practiced here, it’s a waste of everyone’s time. But again, whatever works for you — the US still offers Freedom of Speech through the First Amendment, and you’re welcome to continue exposing your lack of social skills.

  9. joey schott October 19, 2011 at 3:31 pm
    wally backman is the hardest working baseball player ive ever played with or against in aloha oregon. also the best ive ever played against. people talk about his temper on the diamond but no one wants to win for his teamates or players more. hes been that way his whole life . i consider wally a true friend andv great person. and if the nationals want wally i promise you they will have a winner in washington.