Are we wishful thinking?
Will Sandy Alderson, the new Over Lord of METropoliS, hire an old friend of the Family, who has a couple of issues but who is beloved by most, if not all Met fans?
Since his hiring Sandy Alderson has already ransacked METropoliS like Godzilla going through Tokyo. Scouts, Directors, Coaches, Go-Fors, Klingons, candlestick makers and the paper boy are all gone. Poof! Sandy cleaned up all the rubbish and decaying matter on Roosevelt Avenue and appointed a new deputy sheriff to over see things (see J.P. Ricciardi).
So what makes us think Sandy Alderson will take a departure from this current renovation and invite a relic of the past; someone with baggage in hand and someone who isn't necessarily Sabermetrized?
* Baggage ~ he has some and we don't know if there is more. Adam Rubin eluded to something, or knowledge of something which may prevent Backman getting hired. I'll leave it at that. Rubin is already getting a lot of crap for it (hang in there Kid).
* The Wilpons ~ they like him very much. But we also know and understand their aversion to negative publicity and criticisms. I'm not sure if they've even allowed newspapers back into the clubhouse yet. Remember when they banned them? So will they take a chance on Wally and the potential of something going wrong?
* His Resume ~ ....is light. He worked briefly for the White Sox and the D-backs in their systems. Then, Arizona Fall League with the Peanuts. This past season he guided the Brooklyn Cyclones to a Division Title and played in the Championship Series (but lost). That's it folks; Fall league and Class-A Short; that's all there is. Is he savvy? Yep. Do I think he's a smart Baseball man? I am a regular at the Cyclones games so I watched him very intently. My answer is...I think so.
* Being Fiery ~ Buffet tables, profanity laced tirades, hostility directed at media after tough loss, throwing bats etc etc on the field, potentially disastrous encounters with umpires, Old School mentality versus New Age players. Will have no reservations telling a player what he really feels.
* Being Fiery ~ Buffet tables, profanity laced tirades, hostility directed at media after tough loss, throwing bats etc etc on the field, potentially disastrous encounters with umpires, Old School versus New Age players. Will tell a player what he really feels.
* Mets Ties ~ Too many people have said this matters so I'm forced to follow the flock. OK, lets hire a former Met. He has a ring. He was a scrappy table setter in a very potent line-up. He came up through the system drafted by Joe McDonald, so Wally actually goes way back.
* Experience ~ See Brooklyn Cyclones. The experience factor is limited. Otherwise, he throws bats on the field very well when instigated. Able to toss multiple bats at once covering a wider target area. Well versed in profanity. No great love for umpires. Won't be afraid to tell a player what he really feels (see Fiery..for lack of anything else to credit Wally with).
* Psychosomatic Displacement ~ WE could care less that there are other candidates better than Wally. Mets fans have fixed it in their minds to hire someone who will be their own version of Billy Martin or John McGraw. Be honest! That's what you're thinking. You want Backman to fill the role of our Little General; maybe more McGraw than Martin. You're dying for Backman to be that guy.
* ....That's it! Wally Backman has no real resume to speak of. METpotism might get Wally hired if little else.
I think too many of my fellow Mets fans have clung to the notion Sandy Alderson is only interested in a smart, yet MoneyBall abiding "company man" managing his dugout. It's fair to have that impression. But at the same time, many Met fans understand Alderson must, should, will and is evolving his philosophies; tailoring them to be more in tune with the New York City dynamic.
Besides, he told us so.
Of course he's going to make decisions according to the new condition he now works in. Of course he knows the same decision making path he followed in Oakland or San Diego may not necessarily work here. This doesn't mean he's compromising his principals at all. It just means he knows he's now involved with a horse of another garage. He still has his core beliefs but he'll just employ a different tact to achieve those means.
Sandy Alderson has told us he's not averse to a fiery type manager; that in certain circumstances, it's desirable. That's a good thing to hear for the overwhelming number of Wally Backman supporters. In spite of what Adam Rubin may have eluded to regarding Backman's odds for landing the managerial position, I do not think his hiring is out of the question.
Tomorrow is Wally Backman's biggest, and unfortunately, probably his last real opportunity to land an MLB job. If the Mets do not hire him and after falling out of favor in Arizona, who will realistically offer him a position in the future (whether in fact there is more unknown negative news lurking about or not)?
Tomorrow Wally must be true to himself and reveal if there are anymore skeletons in his closet that may one day decide to come out and streak across the field at a most inopportune time; or something equally embarrassing for Wally and the Mets. I don't know. I'm just saying. But if there is anything at all, even if it's an outstanding parking ticket...Tell Sandy tomorrow.
I think Wally Backman has an honest shot at landing this job. That may also depend on the level of honesty he exercises with Sandy in his interview tomorrow. With regards to Wally Backman and his link to the club's past glories, Sandy Alderson may very well narrow down his requirements for the job down to these two factors, being ONE ~ Does Wally possess a sound Baseball mind? and TWO - Will he behave like a responsible adult?
If Wally Backman can convince Sandy Alderson of those two things, he just may very well be our next manager of the New York Metropolitans.
But I will ask my fellow Met fans this before I end this query; What do YOU really know about Wally's ability to manage a team? The Peanuts and the Cyclones is all there is to base that question on. Everyone is so caught up in a fiery type manager with Mets' ties. I have seen Wally manage a team for one year, which is probably a season more than most people outside NYC and Brooklyn can say. But I will say for all, if you'll allow me, we ALL know nothing about his ability to manage; Nothing.
He's a home grown Met who won a Championship here. He managed one year in the Arizona Fall League and one year in Brooklyn's Class-A Short Season affiliate with little else too speak of.
Admit it, we are caught up with an ideal we want for our club.
Don't be surprised if he doesn't get the job is all I'm saying. His resume is probably the lightest in the lot.