The interviews are finished. General Manager Sandy Alderson has said he will announce the next manager for the New York Mets either Sunday or Monday.
I haven't been wow'd by any candidate. No one really stands out for me. I think part of the sentimentality for Backman is lack of a stand out candidate. If I'm choosing from the list of final four, I'm with Backman too. And it's not because I really want him, it's just the other guys seem so inconsequential to me. But Backman is also one of those cats who is nothing without Baseball. He needs Baseball to exist. There's been many great managers in Baseball history cut from that mold. You have to admit Wally fits a profile. I'll keep it local too and I don't think it's hyperbole to just toss this around for fun; Billy Martin, John McGraw, Leo the Lip, even Casey who manipulated the platoon system before they had a name for it, were all unconventional loners, kooks and boorish but at the same time brilliant managers. From once being 'marginal' players, they get their starts somewhere.
The case for Wally Backman based on the Davey Johnson model is a little off. That comparison would be a better match describing Tim Teufel. Davey Johnson didn't have MLB experience when called upon to manage the Mets. But when he did get his opportunity, no potential manager was more familiar with all the Mets' call-ups than him as he was their manager down below on the farm. Many of the younger players on today's roster are more familiar with Tim Teufel, having played for him either in Brooklyn or Binghampton, than they are Wally Backman.
The Davey Johnson model is additionally not appropriate for Wally Backman because Frank Cashen, then GM of the Mets, was all too familiar with Davey Johnson since their days together in Baltimore. So, Davey Johnson was indeed a manager in training and waiting. Sandy Alderson and Wally Backman have no such prior relationship.
I find it very odd, as in a solar eclipse 'odd', this remarkably transformed Front Office orchestrated a very bland managerial search which included very hum-drum candidates.
Who ever Sandy hires will have my full support regardless. Don't worry, I have my goggles on.