Wally Backman wants to manage in the big leagues, not after Collins’ job


Wally Backman and Terry Collins polaroidWally Backman isn’t looking to take Terry Collins’ job, according to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post.

“I’m not after Terry’s job,” Backman said, according to Davidoff. “But my goal is definitely to manage in the big leagues.”

Backman is most concerned about managing in Las Vegas this season, and told Davidoff, ““I know that his contract’s coming up, and he knows it. Everybody knows it. It’s a tough spot for him and, really, for me.”

Meanwhile, Sandy Alderson told Davidoff he believes Backman is capable of managing in the big leagues, although Davidoff says it’s questionable whether or not both Backman and Alderson can co-exist in the organization at the big league level.

Backman, 53, went 67-76 in his inaugural Triple-A season in 2012. Backman’s ten year minor league managerial record is 601-564 with the White Sox, Diamondbacks and Mets organizations.

Michael Baron, Contributor

This situation can potentially get awkward, especially if the Mets struggle early on and Terry remains unsigned beyond this season. But that’s the consequence of a manager being in the last year of his deal, especially in New York. That doesn’t mean the Mets should have extended Collins – in fact, it was the right call to let things play out in 2013 and see how his team plays over the first part of the year before extending him. Why? Because the 2014 season is the next step in this project, and it has yet to be determined how all of the pieces fit, including Collins.

As for Backman, he is going to play a significant role this season which goes beyond the role of managing. He has already overseen the latter stages of Matt Harvey’s development, but he is also going to work closely with Zack Wheeler, probably Jenrry Mejia, as well as Wilmer Flores and other prospects who are important for the team’s future. How that plays out could determine what his role is going forward here, and potentially for other organizations in baseball.