Who didn’t see this coming?
The only thing that should be surprising is why it took a long time for Wally Backman to be out of the Mets organization.
Backman was on borrowed time with the Mets. It was bound to not end well for him. He was not Sandy Alderson’s guy, and it was hard to believe he was going to be content managing the Mets’ Triple-A team in Las Vegas.
It does not matter if he resigned or if he was fired. The bottom line is he is gone and he is never coming back to the Mets organization.
According to Newsday’s Marc Carig and New York Post’s Mike Puma, Alderson had an issue with Backman not listening to his orders such as not playing Michael Conforto against lefties and not using Brandon Nimmo at leadoff. He was also told to bat Gavin Cecchini and Kevin Plawecki higher in the lineup, and he refused. (Backman refuted this in a radio interview with Mike Francesa).
This shouldn’t be surprising. Backman is his own guy. He plays by his own rules, and he does not want anyone to dictate him who to play. That was why he was never going to manage the Mets as long as Alderson was the general manager of the Mets. It’s also why he will never manage a Major League Baseball team.
If Alderson had his way, Backman would have never worked in the Mets organization. The former Las Vegas manager was only hired because the Wilpons liked him.
Backman was hoping he would earn Alderson’s trust even if he knew that would be impossible.
The last straw came when Alderson never considered Backman to be the bench coach when Bob Geren moved on to be the Dodgers bench coach this past offseason. It was the overmatched Dick Scott serving as Terry Collins’ bench coach.
That was a hint Backman was not long for the job at Las Vegas. He wasn’t going to waste his time managing in the Mets’ farm system forever. He has too much self-respect to go on with this charade when the front office has no use for him.
Something was going to give, and it happened on Monday. The last straw came when Backman was not promoted to be involved with the Mets coaching staff a few weeks ago according to ESPN New York.com’s Adam Rubin. It was Class A St. Lucie manager Luis Rojas that was called up.
Backman did not deny to WFAN’s Mike Francesa that he wasn’t happy about the way he was treated by the Mets front office.
It’s a shame Alderson acted petty towards Backman. It’s not a way to run an organization by having an agenda on a coach that he had no use for.
Backman did his job. He developed guys such as Seth Lugo, Jacob deGrom, Robert Gsellman, Steven Matz, Noah Syndergaard, Lucas Duda and T.J. Rivera. He also won during his time at Las Vegas.
It just wasn’t good enough for Alderson. Nothing Backman could do was good enough for him.
It’s hard to blame Backman for going off on the Mets front office in an interview with Francesa.
For those that said he shouldn’t act petty, get real. Those same folks would have done the same thing Backman did if their boss found a way to fire them.
Backman is hoping a MLB team will take a chance on him as a manager. He shouldn’t bank on it. He’s already perceived as bad news in the baseball industry with his volatile personality and his inability to not be an organization guy.
He may have to consider himself lucky if a MLB team hires him to manage their minor league farm system. After arguing with Alderson, the sabermetric general managers will want no part of him.
Maybe Backman knows this, and that’s why he went off on Alderson yesterday with Francesa.
What happens to Backman is certainly not Alderson’s problem. Not when he had his way of getting Backman out the door.
Backman should consider himself fortunate if someone in the Atlantic League or Independent League calls for his service. That’s as good as it is going to get for Backman.
There was not going to be a happy ending for Backman with the Mets.
Deep down, he knew it. Alderson made sure of it.
It was a miracle this marriage lasted as long as it had.
That was an accomplishment in itself.