Don’t bank on Backman

Following the Mets’ GM search brings a couple of thoughts to mind.

BACKMAN: Would he be a gimmick hire?

I don’t see the Mets hiring Sandy Alderson plus Rick Hahn, as has been suggested.  I believe the job is Alderson’s for the taking, which would enable him to help groom John Ricco to be his successor. I don’t think they’ll end up hiring one assistant GM (Hahn) when they won’t interview their current assistant GM. If they did, they’ll take a risk at losing Ricco.

Because of Logan White’s proficiency in scouting, I can see him joining Alderson.

Whomever, the Mets hire as their general manager, I’m beginning to think Wally Backman won’t be hired as their manager if the new guy has the autonomy the Wilpons have promised. I’ve seen several list of the top managerial candidates and Backman hasn’t been on any of them.

I keep hearing about Backman’s spit and fire, but he’s not the only fiery personality out there, and that’s not the primary quality in a manager. The ability to motivate isn’t confined to yelling and over turning the food spread in the clubhouse. There’s also game management and dealing with player personalities.

Backman has not proven he can be that on a major league level, and with a team in transition such as the Mets a veteran presence is the best option. Like the general manager, I’d prefer a manager with a track record, one who could groom Backman by bringing him on as a bench coach.

This isn’t to say Backman won’t eventually become an accomplished major league manager, but I don’t believe this is the right time. There’s still too much for Backman to learn, and a rebuilding situation like the Mets isn’t the best place to start. I keep hearing about Backman’s fire and the ties to the 1986 championship team, but that sounds more and more like a gimmick hire.

I just don’t see a new general manager tying his success to an unproven manager.

5 thoughts on “Don’t bank on Backman

  1. JD: if not Backman then who?
    I have seen just the oppposite. I have seen sports columnist after sports columnist discuss that backman is the better of the less expensive choices. If the budget is going to be low the wilpons wont be able to afford a higher priced manager. Not to say that Backman doesnt deserve money but his inexperience in the majors means less salary.
    I say give him a chance. unless there’s a manager out there at the right price, he’s it.

  2. so will we go after a 5 mil mgr or a one mil one?

    i vote the later.

    after all we hired willie cause he was cheap.

  3. SteveC (1): It is difficult to handicap a favorite until the next GM is selected. I know the Wilpons like Backman, but with his connections Alderson – if hired – has his own ideas. I don’t see any GM pining his future on an unproven manager.-JD

  4. ah but didnt all the teams bachman did manage, minor league aside, all make the playoffs? and the team played fir him all out. cause he was on them and behind them every step of the way.