Former Met and current Brooklyn Cyclones manager Wally Backman is the internet’s newest legend. Seriously.
In the last 24 hours, video of Wally’s epic post-ejection rant has been picked up everywhere, including Sports Illustrated and Deadspin. The overwhelming reaction is that fans support Wally’s passion in defending his players. In the case of this video, Wally was defending outfielder Doc Brooks, who was ejected during an at-bat, following a ball call. Yeah, you read that right. A ball call.
Needless to say, I’m pretty amazed by all of this. After all, I produced the TV series from which this video clip comes from. The show is called “Playing for Peanuts” and it aired briefly on SNY.
Since the language in the video is saltier than a bucket of Morton’s Iodized Salt, I won’t embed it here. You’ll have to click the links to the websites listed above. Or you can buy the censored (bleeped) version on DVD by clicking here.
Back when it happened (2007), there were murky reports that Wally Backman had lost his mind and ruined his managerial prospects by physically attacking an umpire. It was all overblown – the footage is amazing but there is nothing approaching what Wally was accused of. Regardless, I was accused of staging the incident (not true) and Wally was accused of being out-of-control (also not true). It was a classic manager-vs-umpire confrontation, the only thing different was that Wally had agreed to wear a microphone during the season. In most cases, Wally forgot he had the microphone on him – I used to have to sprint into the dugout following games to make sure Wally didn’t accidentally destroy a microphone cable by taking off his jersey with the mic still attached. Point is, none of Wally’s words were scripted or embellished for the camera. In fact, our cameras weren’t there for Wally’s ejection the week before this incident – and I’m told it was almost as epic…
Fast forward to 2010 and Wally is set to begin managing the Brooklyn Cyclones. His career seems to be back on track and my little TV show seems to have something of a new life. Funny how things work out sometimes.
To meet the demand for all things Wally, I have updated the TV show’s line of T-shirts to include the most famous line from the video:
Special thanks to Kerel Cooper of OnTheBlack.com who posted the video a few weeks ago. He was the first one to have the video online and now everyone else is catching up to him. Nice job, Kerel!