Brooklyn’s season is over and the waiting game begins for Wally Backman. Quoted earlier about saying he could do some things better than Jerry Manuel, Backman took the high road yesterday, saying he’s not guaranteed of a job next year and the Mets aren’t on his mind.
Of course, they have to be on his mind, but when given a second chance to comment on the Mets’ job and Manuel, Backman took the high road, which won’t go unnoticed by management.
On a related note, Manuel knows his job is in jeopardy. He might even know he’s not coming back. But instead of crying or lobbying, he goes out there and does his job every day. That’s a professional thing to do and that won’t go unnoticed, either.
Mike Pelfrey, who turned his back to Jerry Manuel Saturday in a show of disrespect, has endorsed pitching coach Dan Warthen’s return next season. So too, has R.A. Dickey. It’s a nice gesture, but it is uncertain as to the weight it will carry.
Assuming Manuel is gone and a veteran manager is named to replace him, he would want to name his own pitching coach and staff. That the Mets’ have shown significant improvement – you can chalk that up to not having John Maine and Oliver Perez- is a positive reflection on Warthen to where he merits an interview.
However, Warthen’s best chance would be if the Mets hired young and inexperienced, say Wally Backman, who might have a staff assigned for him.
Either way, the rate of progress from 2009 to 2010 has been significant and he deserves an interview at least.
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There’s no way Jerry Manuel will survive after this season. Whoever replaces him will have to be marketed to a disgruntled and discouraged fan base.
The one guy who will work and won’t break the bank, and who has won at his level, but hasn’t managed on the major league level is Wally Backman.
The Mets need to market fire and intensity, something that has been lacking, and Backman meets that description. Because of his background and ties to the 1986 championship team, Backman is somebody the team can market and the public will buy.
The downside is his lack of major league experience, but the Mets have to weigh this against the public relations upside.
* Single-A Brooklyn named Wally Backman as manager today. In a release by the team, Backman said: “I am thrilled and grateful to be coming back to the Mets organization. The greatest days of my professional career were spent here in New York, and I have always felt a special connection to the city.”
BACKMAN: Once a Mets' sparkplug.
I like the idea of Backman returning to the organization and getting another chance after he was unceremoniously dumped by Arizona. Backman provides an energy and a link to when the Mets were a great team. Guys like Backman, who relied on guile and grit as players, often make good managers.
To see him grow within the organization would be a positive, and welcomed, change from how things have been done in the past.
* Reportedly, Eric Wedge is candidate for the Mets bench coach job. Sure beats Razor Shines. Yeah, I know there will be rumblings about Jerry Manuel looking over his shoulder. If Manuel is any kind of manager, if this happens he’ll pick Wedge for all the knowledge he can. You can’t have too many brains on the bench. Just look at Joe Girardi’s and Joe Torre’s supporting staffs. Continue reading →
Jose Reyes will have surgery today on his torn right hamstring tendon, scheduling the procedure for today in Dallas. The surgery will be to remove scar tissue on the tendon, and will be performed by Dallas Cowboys team physician Daniel Cooper.
The prognosis is he should return in time for spring training. Reyes will not have surgery on the torn right hamstring muscle. The club is hoping it will heal with rest.
The Mets are close to naming Tim Teufel to the managing job at Double-A Binghamton, according to published reports. The Mets are also close to signing Wally Backman and Mookie Wilson to minor league positions.
The Mets don’t plan on talking with former Rangers hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, who spent the last 15 seasons in the Texas organization.
Jaramillo once interviewed for the Mets’ managerial position, but was bypassed for Willie Randolph.