Tag: wally backman

Link Roundup: Playing Carnac

Carnac the Magnificent

The 2013-2014 offseason (for the Mets and other non-playoff teams, anyway) is almost two weeks old, and Mets fans are abuzz with speculation about what the Mets will do to improve their team.

Trying to predict the future can get kind of repetitive. The same names keep coming up – because those names will be available via free agency, or are widely believed to be trade candidates. But there’s only so much you can say or write about until deals actually start to happen.

That doesn’t stop us bloggers from trying, however.


Wally Backman Blows Up

In case you missed it, last Friday Wally Backman had an “issue” with an opposing manager.

First, the part where Wally goes after Syracuse Chiefs (Triple-A Nationals) manager Tony Beasley. The second video is the post-game press conference, during which Wally explains why he went after Beasley. There are also some interesting comments and updates regarding a few of his Bisons ballplayers, such as Lucas Duda.


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.


Welcome Back Wally Backman

It seems like a minor thing — and I’ve yet to read anything, anywhere previewing the occurrence — but tonight, Wally Backman suits up for a Major League game for the first time since May 14, 1993.

Sure, he’s been around during spring training, but that doesn’t count. The last time Wally was in uniform for a MLB game was in ’93, in Oakland, as a member of the Seattle Mariners, pinch-hitting for Mike Blowers with men on first and second and two outs against A’s righthander Joe “The Saver” Boever. Backman flied out to centerfield to end the 10th inning of a game eventually won in the 11th by the Athletics; Wally was playing third base when the final run scored.

Backman was released by the Mariners three days later; he was 33 years old and hitting .138. He had appeared in all of 10 games — starting in 8 of them at second base. Originally, Backman had signed with the Braves over the previous winter, but didn’t make the team out of spring training and he signed on April 5 with the Mariners, who at the time weren’t sure whether the free-swinging, not-yet-artificially-enhanced Bret Boone was the answer at second base. But Backman was clearly at the end of his string, Boone had returned from AAA and was showing some pop, and 31-year-old rookie Rich Amaral was more versatile and providing surprising offense. Wally’s weak showing in his 10-game audition made him the odd man out when DH Edgar Martinez returned from the disabled list, and so he was sent packing. A few weeks later, the M’s drafted a high school shortstop named Alex Rodriguez — just to give you some perspective.

A few years after leaving Seattle, Backman began his road back to the big leagues, managing a team in the old independent Northeast League (the same league that Ken Oberkfell began his managing career). It’s been a rollercoaster ever since, one that seemed to reach a dead end until Backman was hired to manage the Brooklyn Cyclones last year.

It doesn’t matter what your feeling is on Backman the person or Backman the manager. The story is that after almost 20 years, through challenging obstacles (both self-inflicted and external), and against nearly impossible odds, Wally has returned to a MLB clubhouse, wearing a MLB uniform. Will he ever make it to the next step — one that will see him sitting in the dugout, perhaps as a coach? Time will tell.


Davey Johnson Hired – Will Wally Backman Get Called?

You may have heard that former Mets manager Davey Johnson was hired to take over the Washington Nationals. Almost immediately upon the announcement of Johnson’s hiring, I received several emails and tweets from many “Wally Backers” asking if Davey might reach out to Wally Backman to serve as the Nats bench coach. My gut tells me that Davey probably