Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
In early September, Sandy Alderson said he is likely to again offer Wally Backman a position within the organization. That position will likely not be on the big-league staff, as Terry Collins and his coaches were all retained.
Backman interviewed well with the Mets in 2010, making a positive mark on Alderson. In that time, he has been praised for his work in Triple-A and gets credit from opposing teams for how he handles his lineup and bullpen. There are countless reports about how his players love and appreciate him. Yet, in that time, Backman hasn’t been interviewed by an organization that isn’t the Mets. There were rumors that the Nationals had interest two years ago, but he ended up back in blue and orange.
These days, the Nationals are reportedly searching for Davey Johnson’s replacement and Backman seems like he could be a candidate.
“Washington GM Mike Rizzo knows Backman well, having worked for several years in the Diamondbacks organization, and people who know him say he could be intrigued by the idea of bringing in a high-intensity guy like Backman after the Nationals underachieved this season,” John Harper of the Daily News wrote in September.
However, according to multiple reports, Cal Ripken Jr., Randy Knorr and Matt Williams are the front runners for the DC job. I have yet to see Backman’s name in print in connection to the job in DC. The same can be said about the other vacancies and searches going on in baseball. I suppose there is the chance Backman is offered a role on Washington’s bench. I wonder if a relationship with Rizzo and a good word from Johnson will be enough. The new manager will want his own guys next to him and Backman has some crossover with Williams.
At the same time, Alderson will almost-certainly offer Backman the same job he had last season in Triple-A Las Vegas, because the front office really values the work he does getting players ready for the 25-man roster. These sort of decisions usually happen in late December. He has a good relationship with Collins and takes pride in his position, so I assume he’s open to coming back. From what I can gather, he has yet to make a decision if he will accept the offer, especially since people close to him repeatedly stress Backman’s desire to get back to the big leagues. The thing is, I think Mets fans value Backman more than any one else, and unfortunately we don’t get to pick a manager…