Wally Backman and Terry Collins (Baron)

Klapisch wants Wally Backman, GMs want company men

Triple-A manager Wally Backman is an asset who can help the Mets ascend toward respectability, writes Bob Klapisch (Bergen Record, Sept. 4).

“Of course, this would require Sandy Alderson shedding his prejudice against the very trait that makes Backman unique: He’s an independent thinker with a strong personality, as old-school as it gets,” Klapisch adds.

Meanwhile, NBCSports.com baseball reporter Craig Calcaterra says writers like Klapisch are not interested in the same things as most General Managers (Twitter, Sept. 4).

“That Backman is being blackballed and is entitled to manage in the big leagues is one of the weirder things sportswriters believe,” Calcaterra said. “Arguing Backman’s ‘independent thinking’ and strong personality is a plus for him is to totally misunderstand what GMs want in managers. Sportswriters want that. GMs want company men who will not be controversial and who will go along with Baseball Operations’ plans. Maybe that’s a bad idea. Maybe the old model was better. But let’s not pretend Alderson is some weird, prejudiced monster here.”



According to multiple reports in early August, Terry Collins will very likely return to manage the Mets in 2015, assuming they don’t totally fall apart before the end of the season (MetsBlog, Aug. 13).

The Mets first signed Collins to a two-year deal in late 2010, his option was picked up for 2013, after which he signed a two-year extension, which includes a team option for 2016.




198 comments
Dan D'Addio
Dan D'Addio

I'm all for change but Backman is not the right manager for this team. He would not work well with veteran ball players.

steve333
steve333

Now I have to root for The Mets to fall apart.

TC needs to go.

It's Wally Time

Andrew Boone
Andrew Boone

Klapisch better go back and research what happened after he was hired as the Dbacks manager, because that is the last thing this club needs now.

PJ Windle
PJ Windle

Please tell me what "company men" have done for the organization. Bobby V definitely wasn't a company man. All of these shills... Art Howe, Collins, Randolph...perennial losers. I want Backman.

Mushroombarleysoup
Mushroombarleysoup

If I'm being really honest,..I almost dont care what these mets do unless Wally is at the helm,...what ......ever,l

hankypanky
hankypanky

Why won't GMs hire Backman if he is supposedly good for the Mets? Just asking. Personally I'd like to see him here.

John Vastola
John Vastola

I should have said raise morale, wins and attendance. The GM has said higher attendance means ability to have a higher payroll.

Ira Samet
Ira Samet

I wouldn't mind Wally managing the team, but let's face it...it's not like he is some hot commodity that all of MLB is banging down their doors to hire either. 

Robert Hess
Robert Hess

The BOTTOM line in any business is success.  I wouldn't care if Sandy shot nickels out of his nose and hired his mother to manage but he and the Mets have not even attained .%00 baseball since he's been here.  Yes, there seems to be a lot of potential in the minors but prospects are only suspects until they succeed.  Not one of these mplayers is truly proven.  Even Harvey is not guaranteed regaining his rookie form.  GM's need to be creative.  The big names are overpaid and most are on the downswing in their careers.  I don't have the answers but I'm also not getting paid the big bucks the boys in the Front Office are either.  I think though that I'd be pretty happy playing the prospects, giving them a fair chance to see what they can do over a full season.  The problem I have is that Terry and Sandy insist on playing the veterans,  There was a stat last night that Grandy had had something like 7 streaks where he went at least 17 at bats without a hit.  That's 0 for 114.  Plus how many strikeouts are included?  I'm not saying guys like Martin Prado are a long term answer but he's been a contributing ballplayer for most of his career - unlike Chris Young who had one good season.

matmil
matmil

Some really fantastic comments here. All I ask of the Mets is this give me a manager who will play the players that give him the best chance to win that game. Not to play a player because he makes a certain amount of money. Or have a player hit in a certain spot because that is what he did in the past. Or have to play a player who everybody from the third base coach to the hotdog vendor knows shouldn't be playing. Give me a manager with one goal, to win games, I'll be satisfied with that, for now.

TC has at best been a .500% manager. At worst he loses the team and has a rebellion. Wally Backman has been a winner on every level he has played. It was wrong he was fired before he even coached a game because of his past. I seen him manage in Brooklyn and he had the team prepared every game. I don't think he would accept the mediocre play collins allows. Then again I stopped listening to most mets games because he does things for reasons only he knows. collins harbors a culture of mediocrity says he is going to use the hot player one day and puts guys in the next game. Im not sure who is managing the mets is it really collins or is it the wilputzes?

Joseph Jerminario
Joseph Jerminario

Ron Davis, I never said the Wilpons were good guys!! Better use glasses and read my comment again. So stop putting words in my mouth, when obviously you had something in yours!!

Joseph Jerminario
Joseph Jerminario

Those without sin throw the first stone!! Anyone who says they have never done a thing wrong in their lives is a liar! We all deserve a second chance.

Joseph Jerminario
Joseph Jerminario

Hey Robert Kramisen, I was being sarcastic about the Wilpons wanting yes men and not putting down WALLY Backman! A manager needs to be fair, but firm with his players just like business man needs to be. You sir have taken the topic of conversation and made it a personal attack on the rest of us. State your opinion on the question at hand, but Don't personalize it by attacking others opinions. All that does is make you look like an angry person who needs anger management.

flmetsfan
flmetsfan

To be honest with you, I never knew that Craig Calceterra existed before this post and reading his Twitter feed (don't think I'm ever going to do that again).  Now that I am aware of his presence, I'm not impressed.  He sounds like a 16 year old sports hack on a high school newspaper.

Note to Calceterra:  leave the one liners to people like Jim Rome and Mike Wilbon.  People really care about what they think.

Colin Kelly
Colin Kelly

And the fans want a commitment to winning. So?

Mike Herrington
Mike Herrington

TC is not the reason the Mets are where they are. Nor do I believe he is the guy to take them to the playoffs.


The reason the Astros canned their manager was the public spat between manager and management. It was played out in the media. Not really good for the Astros team. So they fired him. from what I saw, I can see both sides of the story but the manager was wrong to play it up in the media.


I do believe Backman would make a very good manager. But I do wonder if he could handle the NY media and the management at the same time without causing a riff. Distractions like that can be good for a team as it takes heat off the players for a bit. But those distractions can have horrible effects on the field as well. Reasons many a team are not jumping on the chance to hire a very willing Backman. Can Backman tone it down or change for the betterment of himself and the Mets? 

Doubleday
Doubleday

In the old days, the GM had nothing to do with on-field decisions. Dick Williams once told me, "Once you cross through that clubhouse door, I'm the boss. End of topic." And players responded to that. Rollie Fingers told me that Dick was an ash hole (use your imagination), but guys loved playing for him because he kept the suits off the players' backs. Terry Collins is no Dick Williams.

bklynlou
bklynlou

The  mets I named it  Why ???????????????

metsjetsdu
metsjetsdu

Name me a team that would rather have TC as their manager over their current one 

gpopper
gpopper

For this team to succeed, they need real baseball players. Players that are hungry to be winners and have the talent to get there. The team obviously does not have that right now. While there are some players who appear to have that potential, there are others collecting a paycheck only.

The team also needs a manager that can get them there, through motivation, support, no nonsense, practicing fundamentals and making sound on field decisions. Collins is no where close to any of that IMHO.

While I am a supporter of Wally, I have no idea if he is the teams savior or not. But, I do believe giving him the chance would not hurt at all. I appreciate his old school approach to the game. I don't believe he is the explosion waiting to happen as some say. He is passionate, yes. He is aggressive, yes. He also appears to be one fairly good manager whose players seem to respect him, play their hearts out for him and actually like him. If not him, then who? Someone available? Someone in his style? Who knows? Alderson wants an "organizational" type guy. There's 100s of them sitting at home waiting for a call. If that's what he wants, no wonder he'll keep Collins.

No matter what is written here, they will make their own decisions, the fans can just shut up and buy tickets. Alderson will remain a snake oil salesman. Collins will remain Collins. The Wilpons will remain the joke they are and the fans will remain frustrated, angry and on their way out of the ball park. Good luck, we're going to need it.

matmil
matmil

@kingman76 My experience with dealing with young men in exotic places showed me you have to be tough, very tough but fair. Lead by example not just tell them to do something and let them have a little fun.

borsh1313
borsh1313

Agreed... I don't hate terry Collins but it's def time for him to go... As for replacing him with walley I really just don't care. Maybe he will be good maybe not nobody really knows well except for the commenters here who say he is the greatest manager of all time

They clearly know

shinjoooo
shinjoooo

@matmil Just curious, who has Collins not played who everyone (presumably you as well) knows should be playing over who?

mets74
mets74

@matmil I think hands might be tied with the money issue. If a player is making a bunch of moolah, the FO will want him to play, even though they might be under performing. 

jsecurity
jsecurity

Gentlemen, ask yourselves if you would let TC run your candy store if you owned one? Then ask if there is another team in baseball that would hire him if he were available? My answer to both is resoundingly, NO.

gangsta
gangsta

Backmann has handled NY just fine in the past, he is by far the best choice. Wilpons, give the fans what they want, F Alderson

matmil
matmil

There is only one way to find out

Doubleday
Doubleday

You echo my concerns. I love Wally, but he is a powderkeg waiting to blow. For all the things I do not like about Collins, he is very patient with the NY media most of the time. He doesn't know what he is doing on the field, but on that one issue - an issue that is a red flag about Wally - Collins actually does fairly well. Wally would have socked Adam Ruben in the mouth five times already, this season.

Doubleday
Doubleday

(Full disclosure, Dick's comment above was actually littered with expletives)

matmil
matmil

I'm talking about his continued playing of CY. Read it again

Robert Hess
Robert Hess

@mets74 @matmil Which of course makes no sense.  Praying a player will come around so it makes the FO look good is ridiculous.  I'm not talking about a week or two slump but a season long slump.

borsh1313
borsh1313

TC would get hired immidietely just not as a manager but Wally would not get hired as a manager either and I know that for a fact hence y he is not a manager and there has been no outside interest in him

Mike Herrington
Mike Herrington

@gangsta As a player, not in a much bigger role as manager dealing with the New York media. So he has no history of it.

Robert Hess
Robert Hess

@Doubleday And Terry very rarely gets asked any pointed questions.  Except for Kevin (Most times) the other guys seem afraid or threatened to ask the tough questions.

gangsta
gangsta

Come on, Terry is a mumbling idiot. Are you kidding me? He belongs back in the sticks he came from, not New York City

metsjetsdu
metsjetsdu

@nncyel @metsjetsdu maybe  Houston. But I would doubt they would want him back since he already was run out of town there. 

gangsta
gangsta

Players in NY deal with the media everyday, Backmann will be fine, he earned his chance, TC has shown nothing, he needs to go

nncyel
nncyel

@metsjetsdu @nncyel Different regime I believe. In any case, name your manager. Pick anyone. Bring Tony LaRussa out of retirement. Won't make that big of a difference. You know what would help the Mets win games? David Wright having an average year. Curtis Granderson having an average year. Some of the young players developing further. Young pitchers honing their craft. A good LF, a better SS. This focus on TC is misplaced. Bring the pitchforks. We're about to fire a manager. Yahoo. 

gangsta
gangsta

No TC is an idiot, I've seen enough of him Mike, but you can have him

gangsta
gangsta

Wrong, a manager sets the tone, Terry is a loser and always will be, Fire Terry now!!!!

matmil
matmil

Give him a better team and he will underachieve with it just as he has done with this one.

flmetsfan
flmetsfan

@nncyel @metsjetsdu Oh, wouldn't it be great to have a team of players who play up to their potential every year?  A team that doesn't have injuries?  A team where all the prospects pan out?

Well we aren't fans of a team from Fantasyland, we're unfortunately fans of New York's other baseball franchise.  Perhaps this is just me, but this is the first time, in my whole recollection, that the Manager gets the benefit of the doubt over the players.  Usually its, "well you can't fire the players," but not here.  It's more, "we have to be patient," or "this was a bad contract," or "we should blame this on David Wright somehow." Basically, this is crap!  I'm tired of hearing that our young catcher is finally getting into a grove when he leads the Majors in past balls (this with a month in the minors).  I'm tired of hearing that our centerfielder (who is having a decent season) must be a future MVP candidate.  I'm really tired of how great the bullpen is going to be next year when Parnell is back.

Let's face it, Collins is being retained because he did his job, he ushered this team to a record similar to the last few years with less money and no aggravation towards the front office or ownership.  He's the perfect stooge.

At this part of year, I'm tired of hearing about what's over the next hill.  After four years of rebuilding, I want to watch my Mets play wining baseball damn it!  If that's too much to ask for, tough luck.

Mike Herrington
Mike Herrington

@gangsta Then you garner no respect from me. I don't think any manager gets to the ML is an idiot. Nor one that has managed as many years as TC, Say he is a poor manager with reasons why. Say he is a poor manager getting his players ready to play, give examples.


Calling someone an idiot like you are doing says more about you then TC.

nncyel
nncyel

@gangsta How bout they get Kirk Gibson? Former manager of the year. Knows how to set the tone. Oh, his team has the 2nd worst record in the NL this year? I guess he's gone tone deaf.

Richard Davis
Richard Davis

@Mike Herrington @gangsta Collins getting to be a ML manager is no more of an endorsement than GW Bush getting to be president.  And considering the parallels, that might be a good comparison (both were/are perceived as not being the brightest, cannot seem to think on the fly and failed at all previous attempts to run a business/team).  Collins may be a nice guy, but it seems fairly obvious he does not possess the skill-set to manage a team past average.