It’s possible Wally Backman could leave the Mets organization if Terry Collins is re-signed for 2014, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.
Puma says Backman could have his “hand forced” to leave if he is not offered the big league manager job, or at least a spot on next year’s coaching staff.
In addition, while Sandy Alderson values the strong working relationship Backman has with Collins, the team has not discussed a future role with Backman, nor is there any indication he will be added to the big league coaching staff once the Las Vegas 51s season concludes.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
This clash is inevitable — and I’m not talking about a battle between Alderson and Backman — I’m talking about lots of fans and Alderson, in regards to Backman.
There is a large group of Mets fans who LOVE Wally, they identify with his demeanor and style of play, and believe everything he touches turns to winning. At the same time, Wally has not been shy when talking publicly about his desire to manage in the big leagues.
When I talked with people familiar with this situation back in June, I get the impression there would be a bit of a divide between Wally’s way of directing a team and Alderson’s way of directing a team, as well as who should be on the bench and on the field. The two men got along well when Wally interviewed with Alderson years ago. However, Backman isn’t going to like being told who to play, when and why; and the front office is going to be paranoid about what he might say and do, be it on the record or off.
In other words, I think it’s very much an uphill battle for Wally. The Mets love him where he is — coaching kids, teaching them how to win and prepping them for the big leagues — and he’s doing an incredible job. He’s seems to be really, really good at it. But, this current situation shouldn’t be enough for him. He should desire a big league managerial job, and he’s probably earned it, at this point. The buzz along I-95 seems to be to watch the Nationals, who — in the wake of Davey Johnson — could turn to Backman, who was close to leaving the Mets for DC’s bench a few years ago.
In either case, the Mets are going to have to find a way to deal with their fanbase’s love affair with Backman, his natural progression through the system, and Terry’s contract expiring, all at the same time. There were lots and lots of fans calling WFAN on this in June, at which point evenMike Francesa started to push it. It’s going to get loud again during the next couple of months… and the Mets have to know that.
In regards to Collins, people close to him say he was very disappointed and frustrated about not getting a contract extension last winter, if for no other reason than he now has to sit on his hands as his team stumbles around at the end of the season. I think he’d love to rip into some of his talent at times, but he can’t. He can’t ruffle feathers, because it will cause a bit of a fire storm and potentially risk his job, which expires six weeks.
In the end, I still think it’s 60 percent chance that Collins is back; and probably only a 5 percent chance the gig goes to Backman; but that isn’t going to stop the debate, and it isn’t going to change the fact that Backman is popular, good at what he does and with a resume that should get him considered by other organizations.
Read more: New York Post