It is clear Wally Backman wants to manage in the major leagues. His decision this week to accept an offer to manage in the Dominican Republic indicates the Mets, and other teams, should take that pursuit seriously.
Backman was hired to replace the fired Jose Offerman for Licey in the winter leagues, when he could have taken the rest of the offseason off shows how badly he wants to gain experience and refine his craft.
The Mets haven’t announced it, but Backman is expected to return to manage Triple-A Las Vegas.
Backman has been trying to get another job at the major league level since he was hired, then fired, in a four-day span by Arizona ten years ago for off-the-field issues and then, according to the Diamondbacks, lying about them.
Baseball has forever been giving people second chances – excluding Pete Rose, of course – and it should be about time he’s given one. The Mets didn’t give him an opportunity to be their bench underneath Terry Collins, giving the impression he was being snubbed by his own organization.
There have been numerous managerial openings in recent winters and Backman’s phone hasn’t rung and that’s not right.