Just read this on Newsday:
The Mets have assured Terry Collins that his job is not in danger and his future with the team will be discussed when his contract expires at the end of this season, two sources told Newsday.
Not only is Collins safe, there have been no conversations about Wally Backman as a potential replacement, either for this year or beyond. In fact, Backman’s bold guarantees this week about fixing Ike Davis have rubbed some in the organization the wrong way after so much time and effort trying to help Davis at the major-league level.
When asked about the possibility of Backman eventually taking over for Collins, one person familiar with the situation replied, “There’s zero chance of that happening. Zero.”
Let’s forget about the part where people think Terry Collins should be replaced by Wally Backman, because it’s irrelevant and unlikely to happen. If Collins is fired / resigns before the end of this season, the interim manager will be either Tim Teufel or Bob Geren — no doubt.
Rather, let’s focus on the other issue in this story, the part that goes “…Backman’s bold guarantees this week about fixing Ike Davis have rubbed some in the organization the wrong way after so much time and effort trying to help Davis at the major-league level.”
If you missed Backman’s interview with Mike Francesa, you can listen to it here
In a nutshell, Backman explains that he, his staff, and roving instructor Lamar Johnson were confident that they’d get Ike Davis “right.” That IS Backman’s (and Johnson’s) job after all — to get players prepared for MLB. Yet somehow, some way, someone in the Mets organization is ticked off that Backman had the audacity to verbalize WHAT HE’S PAID TO DO??????
Ike was sent down specifically to get himself fixed. He was sent to Las Vegas to get away from New York, the pressures that go with it, and work with Backman, George Greer, and Johnson. The expectation is that those three men can focus on Ike and get him back to the big leagues as soon as possible. Should Backman NOT be confident in his staff’s ability to turn Ike around? Should he be pessimistic?
I’m not sure what the issue is here. If you listen to the interview, Backman says nothing derogatory about the MLB coaching staff. He doesn’t criticize anyone. He doesn’t suggest that Ike couldn’t have been fixed by the MLB staff. He DOES suggest that removing the pressure of playing every day in NYC would be helpful toward clearing Ike’s head. He DOES suggest that having Ike work with people he worked with early in his pro career — Greer and Johnson — would be advantageous. Based on his, Greer’s, and Johnson’s familiarity with Ike and Ike’s early success as a pro, he’s confident they’ll find a way to get him back to the bigs.
And that’s a problem?
So … does that mean that when/if Ike Davis returns to the Mets 25-man roster, it will make someone look bad? Therefore, would the Mets prefer that Ike Davis continue to fail in the minors, to support their belief that since he couldn’t be fixed by the MLB staff, he’s unfixable?
If so, this organization is in worse shape than anyone could have guessed.
About the Author
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.