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

http://view.picapp.com//JavaScripts/OTIjs.jsWith 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 “Who is Wally Backman?”

Jerry Manuel Career Death Watch Part 1

New York Mets Jerry Manuel walks with his head down to the dugout against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field in New York

http://cdn.pis.picapp.com/IamProd/PicAppPIS/JavaScript/PisV4.jsThe death watch on Jerry Manuel’s managerial career is in full swing this week. I fully expect Manuel to be history if the Mets don’t have a good showing against the Yankees and Phillies over the next week. I’ve always thought that the Mets would give him until the end of May and this week is close enough to that time line to make a judgment.

Of course, the Mets problems aren’t all Manuel’s fault. It never is completely a manager’s fault. But when things are going bad, and they certainly are for the Mets, someone has to go. And you can’t fire all of the players. So Manuel will take the blame. Some say is should be Omar Minaya. Maybe it should.

Ken Rosenthal writes that this week could be pivotal for Manuel. Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports put Manuel on his list of “Barely Managing“. Later this week, Rosenthal wrote about the inside scoop on which Mets coaches will survive Manuel’s firing. Mike Lupica wrote that if the Mets are going the wrong way, Minaya should go, not just Manuel. But Mike Vaccaro writes that the Mets should fire Manuel.

It’s hard to argue against someone getting fired soon. I won’t even get into what happened over the last two collapses seasons. Right here and right now this is a last place team with the fifth highest payroll in baseball and third highest in the National League with vastly declining attendance figures.

At this point, I’m on board with a shake up that results in Manuel being out. I agree with NY Sports Dog that Wally Backman is the right man for the job. I also agree with Clayton Caldwell that HoJo has to go too. It’s time for a change.

Audio: Randolph, Backman, and Johnson

WFAN audio with Willie Randolph doing his weekly spot with Mike and the Mad Dog. Wally Backman and Davey Johnson talk to Boomer & Carton.

Randolph talks about his meeting with Omar Minaya and the Wilpons on Monday. Wally Backman talks about his desire to get back to the big leagues after the D-Backs let him go after four days in 2004. Davey Johnson talks about being the Mets manager when things aren’t going so well

Willie Randolph Audio

Wally Backman Audio

Davey Johnson Audio

Three More Weeks For Willie Randolph

Mets manager Willie Randolph before a Mets/Devil Rays spring training game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.Image via Wikipedia

Lately there’s been a lot of chat on sports radio, the blogs, mainstream media, and reader comments here about Willie Randolph’s future with the Mets. Much of the talks has centered around Willie’s tenure coming to an end in the near future. That may be the case but it shouldn’t happen in May.

The Mets should wait and see where the Mets are at the end of May. It’s too early to pull the plug on him now. If the Mets had to make a decision today, my suggestion would be to let him go and move on.

The Mets current performance is well below where they should be if you look at the talent they have. The teams in the National League with worse winning percentages to this point are: Washington, Houston. Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Colorado, San Francisco, San Diego. There are some pretty bad teams in that group. Continue reading “Three More Weeks For Willie Randolph”