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HBT Weekend Wrapup

Nov 15, 2010, 6:27 AM EST

Midwest Snowstorm

Stuff you missed while contemplating a move to the desert southwest:

  • I previewed the upcoming BBWAA Awards. Even made a few predictions: For ROY I like Jeter. AL MVP: Jeter. I also like Jeter for NL MVP, CY Youngs in both leagues and AL Manager of the Year. For NL Manager of the Year, I like Ditka.
  • Sandy Alderson’s father was killed. Served in WWII and Korea and lived 87 years on this terrible Earth, only to be cut down by a 21 year-old driver. Man, I don’t understand the cosmos sometimes.
  • Terry Collins had a DUI in 2002. I love how this was put out by pro-Backman people. They desperately want to believe that people don’t prefer Backman for the job due to his personal issues from ten years ago. At some point I hope they realize that the biggest problem is that “an old video started circulating last summer of you throwing bats around and acting like an ass at a low-A ballgame” is not a key qualification for a major league manager’s job.
  • The Indians are cutting payroll for 2011. I enjoyed the couple of visits I made to the Tribe Social Deck last season. I mean, it was great being invited by the team to sit and watch the team for free and be encouraged to blog about it. But I’m probably going to decline if invited next year. Not because it’s not cool, but because I’ll likely be able to get better seats even cheaper by just hanging around the ballpark before games.
  • Finally, I get that it’s a crime to have drugs sent to you in the mail, but I always wondered about how merely signing for the package is enough to get you busted. I get random stuff sent to me fairly often. Books people want me to promote, t-shirts, various pieces of gear I wasn’t expecting from NBC for my little basement studio. I’m not suggesting anyone do this, but if someone were to just ship me a kilo of coke without my knowledge and I were to sign for it, would I be in deep doo-doo? Isn’t the crime complete in such instances when the order is placed? And if the cops know the order is placed — like they did with Jose Guillen’s wife — why can’t they just make the arrest before the shipment arrives?

As for today, I know you couldn’t freakin’ wait, but the Best and Worst Uniforms of All Time resumes at 11 AM, picking up with the AL Central. There will be Chief Wahoo rage at around 3PM or so. Just thought I’d warn you ahead of time.

  1. chrisny3 - Nov 15, 2010 at 9:40 AM

    “Terry Collins had a DUI in 2002. I love how this was put out by pro-Backman people.”

    Just as much as you love how Backman’s legal prior legal issues have been harped on by the anti-Backman people?

    “They desperately want to believe that people don’t prefer Backman for the job due to his personal issues from ten years ago.”

    And that is exactly what the anti-Backman contingent kept brining up as one of the primary reasons for not wanting him — until the stuff about Collins’ DUI broke. Now, suddenly no one is talking about Backman’s past legal issues.

    “At some point I hope they realize that the biggest problem is that “an old video started circulating last summer of you throwing bats around and acting like an ass at a low-A ballgame” is not a key qualification for a major league manager’s job.”

    LOL, no one thinks it is a key qualification. But it shouldn’t be a disqualifier either. Also, you have no clue what the biggest problem is with any of the candidates in this process. Only Alderson knows it at this point.

    What I don’t understand is why you, an Atlanta Braves fan, seems so totally obsessed with the Mets managerial search. It’s kinda funny. And you’re just not obsessed with this search, you’re particularly obsessed with Backman and his supporters. Why? What is it to you? Why do you care either way whether Backman is the new Mets manager? I don’t get it.

    What particularly is weak about your opinion pieces on Backman is that you are continually over-simplifying the reasons the other side has for preferring Backman … (ie, he wants to win or he wore the Mets uniform.) … even though I told you there are many reasons. You tend to focus on a single reason given by a single commenter and then ascribe that reason to ALL of Backman’s supporters. Which is totally false. Hey, but I guess by misrepresenting the other side’s position, you have something to write about it. Do you get paid for doing this? If so, wow.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Nov 15, 2010 at 9:51 AM

      I get paid to write about what’s going on in baseball. For the past two weeks, people have been talking about the Mets’ managerial search in general and Wally Backman’s place in that search in particular more than anything else. That is why I keep writing about it.

      As for your specific complaints, I’ve still yet to hear one argument in favor of Backman that doesn’t boil down to “he’s a fiery winner.” If you made one in another thread I apologize for missing it, but I still haven’t seen one.

      I have never once cited Backman’s personal history as a reason for him not to get the job and have argued against that whenever it is brought up. And if that’s the reason the Mets go in another direction, it’s a dumb reason.

      • BC - Nov 15, 2010 at 10:33 AM

        His personal history certainly does not help him. But given that his managerial experience is sorely lacking – most recently managing the equivalent of a decent D-1 college team – I pray the Mets look elsewhere. Go get Ryne Sandberg or something. (I sense my plea to bring back Dallas Green will go unheeded).

      • chrisny3 - Nov 15, 2010 at 10:36 AM

        But Craig, you are zeroing in on every Backman tidbit, no matter how minor. There are other writers on this site, and in the early part of the process, they were on the topic. Now it seems to be just you. Why? I guess I’m not just curious about your Backman obsession, but how they assign stories here — or if they give you writers free reign to write about what you want?

        “As for your specific complaints, I’ve still yet to hear one argument in favor of Backman that doesn’t boil down to “he’s a fiery winner.””

        See my comments here:

        http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/11/11/wally-backman-and-my-adventures-in-talk-radio/

        Moreover, I’ve seen other comments by other supporters of Backman that don’t boil down to “he’s a fiery winner” or “he wore the uniform” but you always seem to zero in on the most simplistic and sometimes poorly expressed comment made by a fan, and then make a big thing out it. Is that the only way you have grist for the mill?

        As for personal issues, maybe you never harped on Backman’s past, but until the Collins revelations came out, these issues were heavily emphasized in virtually every piece by the anti-Backman contingent. So why bash the Backman supporters for simply pointing out that Collins had a pretty bad DUI incident of his own?

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 15, 2010 at 11:33 AM

        BC, too late Ryne got snatched up by Philly… The Mets are cursed. Or is it the Wilpons that are cursed? Either way, The Mets are going to be screwed for awhile anyway. The only reason they’d hire Backman is to fire his butt in a season or two once they nail down exactly who they want running the show. I see the new manager of the Mets being a “strawman” of sorts. He’ll take the inevidable punishment NY hands out, then be out as soon as hope is seen for a winning future. That’s what i’ve been thinking. Maybe i’m wrong, but a body is all they need for at least 2011. Backman could at least fill that roll well. And maybe that’s all they need right now?

  2. chrisny3 - Nov 15, 2010 at 11:46 AM

    “But given that his managerial experience is sorely lacking – most recently managing the equivalent of a decent D-1 college team – I pray the Mets look elsewhere. Go get Ryne Sandberg or something.”

    Hmm, If Backman’s managerial experience is “sorely” lacking, how is Ryne Sandberg any better? There is no consistency to the anti-Backman argument. Just a lot of double standards. I wish those who don’t like Backman would simply and directly state the reasons why instead of dancing around the matter and giving out pseudo excuses.

    • Jonny 5 - Nov 15, 2010 at 12:11 PM

      I wish those who don’t like Backman would simply and directly state the reasons why instead of dancing around the matter and giving out pseudo excuses.

      My opinion on Backman is this.

      The Video of him throwing all sorts of stuff onto the the field for what seemed an eternity, almost hitting the batboy, not to mention screaming a plethora of profanities around the poor kid and other spectators,then demanding none of his players pick anything up, plus his “personal issues”, would make me question his mental stability just enough to say there is no effing way I’d hire the guy. Not to manage an MLB team, and not to clean my pool. Ever. Is Ryne Sandberg a better choice? More than likely since we don’t have evidence of him being worse. Is Collins? probably, because all he had was a DUI stacked against him. Oh and his teeth do not stand up to the bar Bobby V and his teeth created anyway.

      • chrisny3 - Nov 15, 2010 at 12:20 PM

        My “pseudo excuse” comment obviously was not directed at you.

        But since you want to opine, fine. Noted that Jonny S thinks Backman is a mental case. And I disagree.

        As for Sandberg, maybe he can’t handle the scrutiny of NY. And he has no clue about the Mets organization or its farm system.

        As for Collins, no, his DUI is not all that’s stacked against him. He quit the last two managing jobs he had. He’s a known quitter. Oh, and he has this little tendency to evoke revolt amongst his players. IOW, players he manages don’t like him. That’s a major red flag.

        As for your “teeth” comment, I don’t understand it. Please explain your lame attempt at humor.

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 15, 2010 at 12:54 PM

        Basically I think the next Mgr of the Mets will be a non factor next season. He also will be scrutinized for everything he does, because it is NY afterall. Now, the Mets as an orginization do not need the extra reasons to be crucified for picking the wrong mgr for the job and the reasons are more heavily stacked against Backman. All that said, the next Mgr will also be a temporary one until they fill it with a bigger name guy anyway. Sure this is pure speculation, but by the look of who they are looking at for the job, that is what it looks like to me. I just think he is not the appropriate guy to use that way because there are more headaches for top management. Then he could always blow his stack like before, and that will stink for the top dogs again. No argument. Just giving you what I think.

      • chrisny3 - Nov 15, 2010 at 1:30 PM

        If Backman were manager and blew his stack at an ump, he’d probably be hailed as a hero by the fans. You are way off base in thinking what may or may not get a manager “crucified” in NY. Randolph and Manuel were both “crucified” by the fans for their placid reactions and failure to argue for their players.

        In the eyes of many Mets fans, the big risk is not the volatile personality — but the inability to sufficiently motivate and communicate with the entire team or the potential to actually alienate players the way Collins has shown a tendency to do. If that happens , then Collins will be crucified to no end.

        As for eventually hiring a big name high-cost manager, won’t happen. Not with Alderson as GM. He’s known to be against wasting dollars on big-name managers. The only way I can see that happening is if they hire someone like Collins, and after he inevitably fails, they won’t want to take another chance on a vanilla already-failed candidate, and internal candidates w/o ML experience are no longer available as they are now, so they turn to a big name candidate for lack of better options. But guys like Torre or Valentine hold no appeal for Alderson.

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 15, 2010 at 1:40 PM

        It doesn’t matter they aren’t hiring Backman anyway man, just let it go…..

      • chrisny3 - Nov 15, 2010 at 1:44 PM

        Jonny, you are a Phillies fan. Why don’t you let it go? Why are you too obsessed with Backman and his supporters?

  3. ta192 - Nov 15, 2010 at 1:42 PM

    I’m kinda leaning toward Jeter for NL Manager of the Year, too, although, I hear Backman’s in the running…

  4. tomemos - Nov 15, 2010 at 4:21 PM

    “If Backman’s managerial experience is “sorely” lacking, how is Ryne Sandberg any better?”

    Because he managed for years at AAA, which Backman has never even sniffed as a manager? That question seems so easy I feel like it must be a trick.

    As for why people don’t let it go: that’s a chicken-and-egg problem, isn’t it? If Backman’s supporters weren’t hell-bent on making this an actual controversy rather than a simple front office decision, no one would have any motivation to write about the question in the first place.

  5. chrisny3 - Nov 15, 2010 at 6:06 PM

    “Because he managed for years at AAA, which Backman has never even sniffed as a manager? That question seems so easy I feel like it must be a trick.”

    No, you are wrong. He managed just ONE year at AAA. So, you’re saying one year of AAA is the difference between “sorely” lacking in experience and being qualified to be a big league manager? Really?

    Obviously the question wasn’t so easy because you flunked the answer.

    “If Backman’s supporters weren’t hell-bent on making this an actual controversy rather than a simple front office decision, no one would have any motivation to write about the question in the first place.”

    And the opposite can be said. If Backman’s detractors weren’t so hell-bent on making this a big controversy instead of a simple front-office decision, no one would feel compelled to respond to the attacks and misinformation.

  6. chrisny3 - Nov 15, 2010 at 6:09 PM

    Also, one of the biggest questions is why would non-Mets fans care about Backman either way? No one has answered that question yet.

  7. chrisny3 - Nov 16, 2010 at 7:08 AM

    “And if the cops know the order is placed — like they did with Jose Guillen‘s wife — why can’t they just make the arrest before the shipment arrives?”

    Because there may not have been a way to ascertain whether the person who placed the order was really Guillen’s wife or not. That’s why they wait till someone actually takes possession of the goods. It could have been a family member, friend, or someone who has no real connection with her and fraudulently used her name.

    I’ve had fraud committed on my credit cards at least twice. It’s quite common today for people to assume others’ identities to purchase things.

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