Tag Archives: Wally Backman

Video: Matt Harvey Hit Hard by Charlotte

Last night in Buffalo Matt Harvey got hit hard by the Charlotte Knights in a 11-0 loss. Harvey gave up 6 runs in only 5 innings on 7 hits and 2 walks, although he did have 6 K’s. He threw 96 pitches, 61 for strikes. It’s a disappointing start for Harvey in his second audition for a spot in the Mets rotation after Miguel Batista was shellacked by the Dodgers yesterday.

Here’s some video of Harvey’s post-game interview.

 


 

Mets To Name Terry Collins Manager

TOKYO - MARCH 08:  China Team Manager Terry Collins attends a practice session before the World Baseball Tokyo Round match between China and South Korea at Tokyo Dome on March 8, 2009 in Tokyo, Japan.  (Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)

Pretty much every media outlet is reporting this afternoon that the Mets have hired Terry Collins to manage the Mets. It’s disappointing to me and, I’m sure, to many Mets fans that wanted to see Wally Backman get the job. But I’ll keep an open mind about Collins going forward. I certainly won’t be as fired up and ready to run out and buy tickets as I would have been if Backman was in the dugout.

Collins has already failed twice as a manager in Houston and with the Angels, finishing 10 games over .500 overall. His Angels team was a mutiny in ’99 and Collins resigned before the end of the season crying at the press conference at how he lost the team. Sure, it’s been 11 years since that happened but he sure wouldn’t be the guy that I would want running my team.

Collins also has deep connections with Paul DePodesta when they both worked for the Dodgers. DePodesta wanted to hire Collins in 2005 to manage the Dodgers but Frank McCourt was unhappy with the managerial candidates and fired DePodesta.

This is one of those critical decisions that better be right for Sandy Alderson and company. If not, there could be a mutiny at a much larger scale this time by the fans.

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Mets Managerial Search Foreshadows Decision Making

New York Mets new general manager Sandy Alderson responds to a reporter's question as the MLB National League Mets introduce him at a news conference in New York, October 29, 2010. Long-time baseball executive Alderson, 62, succeeds Omar Minaya, who was fired earlier this month along with manager Jerry Manuel after the team's second consecutive losing season.  REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Decisions made by upper management are their decisions to make with good reason. The opinions of sports talk gurus are only slightly more knowledgeable than the “Average Joe” getting bagels at the deli. The media covering the Mets poke blindly at who is the “obvious” or “necessary” pick for manager. The finalists for the Mets managerial job should tell the media and fans one thing “back off”. The new front office has an idea of what they want to do and they’re not going to be bullied by the masses who have little to no expertise on the subject matter.

Bobby Valentine has been left off the list and Wally Backman is looking destined for Single A. In the past I have lobbied for Backman, but I have to admit I just like my managers to be more Earl Weaver than Joe Torre. I like the Lou Pinella types who throw a tirade. I even like when players pull a Paul LoDuca and get in A-Rod’s face after a second too long pose down following a homer. In these situations, it’s best to see Alderson conducting his interviews without input from fans and the media know-it-alls.

Truth be told, the outcry from New Yorkers over unpopular decisions needs to be ignored continuously. Don’t pretend you weren’t looking for a tall building to scale after R.A. Dickey was signed. Continue reading

Mets Should Wait for Jon Daniels

Texas Rangers' GM John Daniels watches as the Rangers prepare to take on the New York Yankees in the ALCS at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas on October 14, 2010.  Game one of the best of seven series will be on October 15, 2010 in Arlington.  UPI/Ian Halperin Photo via Newscom

If you’re a Mets fan and you’re not aware that the Mets have interviewed Allard Baird, Rick Hahn, Josh Byrnes, Sandy Alderson, and Logan White for the open GM position, you’ve been living under a rock. The Mets also were denied permission to speak to Tigers assistant GM Al Avila.

Before making any final decisions, the Wilpons should wait to talk to Jon Daniels, the current Texas Rangers GM. He’s only 33 years old and has been GM of the Rangers since 2005. Oh and by the way, he grew up in Queens as a Mets fan.

I’m not saying the Mets should hire him. But Daniels has an out clause in his contract if the Rangers are sold, which they were this season. So he can bail out on the Rangers at the end of the Rangers playoff run.

It took him five years to build a winner in Texas. So it’s not like he instantly changed the team there. But you could see that the Rangers were moving in the right direction with second place finishes in 2008 and 2009.

I certainly haven’t loved everything that I’ve seen from Daniels. He’s the GM that made that awful trade sending Chris Young and Adrian Gonzalez to the Padres for nothing in 2006. And in 2007 he sent John Danks to the White Sox for Brandon McCarthy. Another bad deal.

He’s had some good deals as well though. He got Neftali Feliz and Elvis Andrus from the Braves for Mark Teixeira. And he got Josh Hamilton from the Reds for Edinson Volquez. Most of his other trades have landed somewhere in the middle. But he did build the farm system into the number one rated system in 2008.

It’s been a mixed bag with Daniels, as it is with most GM’s when you look back at their trade histories. But it’s worth it for the Mets to postpone a decision to see if they can talk to Daniels. At worst, they’ll spark a bidding war with the Rangers for Daniels.

The Mets should bring in some people that have a personal connection to the organization. It isn’t a required attribute for a candidate but it would mean something to us as fans. I would love to see a combination of Daniels at GM and Wally Backman managing. That’s something that we all could get behind for the 2011 season.

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Mets Links: Joe Torre, Dysfunction, Team Photo

Joe Torre Manager
Image via Wikipedia

I’m clearing out the list of links that I’ve been holding onto now that the Mets are mathematically eliminated from NL East contention. They’re still 11 games behind the Giants for the wild card with 13 games left to play though! Keep holding out hope.

Yahoo Sports- Jeff Passan wrote a scathing column about the dysfunctional Mets. He squarely lays blame on Jeff Wilpon for running the team into the ground. It’s a good read and, although harsh, it’s hard to argue with his points.

Daily News – Mike Lupica writes about the possibility of the Mets bringing Joe Torre back 30 years later with Wally Backman as his bench coach. I find this really hard to believe on several levels. I can’t see Torre wanting to manage a team in disarray. And I can’t see low-key Torre and high-strung Backman as a good fit together.

ESPN – Adam Rubin writes that the Mets will PhotoShop Johan Santana into the 2010 team photo but K-Rod won’t be included. It’s another sign that he won’t be back with the Mets next season for the final year of his contract.

Daily News – Kevin Mitchell will stand trial for punching a guy on a golf course that said something Mitchell didn’t like. It’s certainly not Mitchell’s first run-in with fist-to-cuffs.

MetsBlog – The Mets have been calling season ticket holders offering them free tickets to one of the final games of this season. The seats have been empty, so why not have some bodies in the park buying food and concessions?

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Mets’ Managerial Possibilities for 2011

28 Feb 2002 : Manager Bobby Valentine  of the New York mets during the Spring Training game against the St.Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida. The Cardinals won 5-2. DIGTAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Eliot Schechter/Getty Images

With the inevitable end of Jerry Manuel’s tenure in blue and orange looming down the homestretch of another dreadful Mets season, the question on every fan’s mind is who will be his successor come 2011. There are the obvious and popular “sexy” choices to take reigns, as well as the low profile names who have had success within the organization. Here’s my take on the possible candidates:

Bobby Valentine
The Mets manager from the end of the 1996 season through 2002, Valentine has proved he is capable of bringing rejuvenation to the franchise, but the question is at how high a price it would cost this time around? Bobby V. is a New York guy with a New York attitude and exercises the underdog persona that the Mets fan base can cling to. On paper, the teams he brought to the playoffs in ’99 and 2000 were very ordinary. However, he got the most out of his rosters and put a scrappy, competitive, and excuse-free product on the field. There has been a lot of speculation about how interested the organization is in bringing Valentine back to Queens. We have reason to believe that Mets people were in his ear when he bowed out of the Marlins managerial candidacy earlier in the season. Continue reading

John Fitzgerald on “Playing For Peanuts”, Wally Backman, and the Mets

Manager of the Brooklyn Cyclones Wally Backman gets vocal during a game on July 31, 2010 in Brooklyn, NY (Photo by Jack Shea / Meet The Famous) Photo via Newscom

Wally Backman has become a hot name amongst the fans and the media. As the 2010 Mets ship continues to sink, fans are scrambling looking for something to hold on to. The life raft for some has become the former second baseman of the 1986 club. Wally Backman has been linked as a potential candidate for the 2011 Mets. He is currently at the helm of the Brooklyn Cyclones who are winning and playing exciting baseball.

Wally has not been a stranger to the press, but much about the man is told in anecdote. To get a closer look at Wally, I spoke with John Fitzgerald, the man behind the much talked about  “Playing for Peanuts” series. Before he began his project on the South Georgia Peanuts, John was a production assistant for several motion pictures. He then took on a project in Ireland about the Irish National Baseball team. There he filmed and worked amongst players who were sacrificing for the love of the game. In continuing with this theme, John approached the South Coast Independent League about doing a potential project. They gave him a list of teams that he could potentially cover. Amongst them, John saw a familiar name listed as manager of the Peanuts.

John Fitzgerald grew up a Mets fan in the eighties. In 1983, at six years old, John can remember his father’s typical Met fan jargon “They lost to the Cubs again!”. Nevertheless, the Mets began an upward trend and John can remember people wanting to mimic the Mets’ aggressive brand of baseball. The name on the list of teams and managers was Wally Backman. John took the opportunity to connect these interests. I had the pleasure to talk to John about “Playing for Peanuts”, the Mets, and “Uncle Wally”. Continue reading

Who is Wally Backman?

Manager of the Brooklyn Cyclones Wally Backman gets vocal during a game on July 31, 2010 in Brooklyn, NY (Photo by Jack Shea / Meet The Famous) Photo via Newscom

With the Mets catching naps while there are runners in scoring position, there isn’t much more to say that hasn’t been said. Unfortunately, it’s getting harder to defend any criticism journalists or fans are throwing at the blue and orange. If this continues, as seems expected, there will be a big shakeup necessary.

Although I have enjoyed Jerry Manuel’s ability to deflect and laugh in the face of his utter demise, Met fans are looking for someone to throw a water cooler when they are playing like this. With Wally Backman stirring in the minors and Fred Wilpon’s love for the ’86 team, is there a doubt that this is the inevitable move?

Wally Backman is the current favorite to replace Manuel and he is a stark contrast to the current head of the team. Backman has a history of success in the minors with affiliate clubs of the White Sox and the Diamondbacks. In 2004, Arizona took notice and looked to bring Backman to the big club. However, in November of that year Arizona learned about the baggage that tends to come with the hard nosed types. Wally found himself a target of Bryant Gumbel’s HBO Real Sports. The show took a look at Backman’s DUI arrest in 1999. More unsettling news was soon coming to the surface as reporters began to uncover the truth. In 2000, Backman was arrested due to an altercation in his home. Backman also had financial woes and filed for bankruptcy to avoid over 20 creditors. Continue reading