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Wally Backman still thinks he was the right choice for Mets manager

Nov 27, 2010, 8:57 AM EST

Wally Backman

Last I left you guys last Saturday evening, the Mets were still without a manager. That all changed on Sunday night, when it was reported that Terry Collins was hired as the club’s new manager. Still, five days later, Wally Backman tells John Harper of the New York Daily News that he can’t believe he didn’t get the job.

“I really thought I won them over,” Backman said by phone Friday from his home in Oregon. “I came out of each interview thinking it had gone better than the one with the Diamondbacks when I got the job there (in 2004).

“I knew what was being said (in the media), that the other guys were the favorites, but I kept looking at it, thinking I could make them see that I was the best guy for the job. I guess I didn’t convince them.”

I wouldn’t expect much less from Backman, or any other managerial candidate, for that matter. What is he supposed to say? “Yeah, Terry Collins was obviously a better candidate than me. I was just happy to be considered.”

The interesting part, though, is that Backman downplays all the talk about previous managerial experience.

“I didn’t think experience should have been a factor,” Backman said. “Managing a game is managing a game, and I don’t think it’s different dealing with players whether it’s the majors or the minors.”
Well, the Mets ended up hiring Collins, someone who hasn’t managed in the major leagues since 1999. That’s a concern, but at least he has been there before. To equate managing a group of kids in A-ball to a major league team full of multi-million dollar athletes is pretty silly, frankly. While I don’t doubt that experience was a factor, the primary goal of Sandy Alderson was to settle on someone that can bring some stability to the clubhouse while he puts his plan in place. Will Collins be that guy? Hard to say. One thing I do know is that if he fails, we’re going to have this debate all over again.

  1. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Nov 27, 2010 at 9:29 AM

    Of course Backman was perfect for the Mets, and darn that Pirate job actually went to someone with big league experience.

  2. Old Gator - Nov 27, 2010 at 11:43 AM

    Backman with the Pirates? Hard to say. But yeah, I was pulling for him for the Mets job. But having had his say, he probably ought to try to be quiet now and do a good job running his minor league club until the contagion of bounced blaaah managers begins a third of the way through next season. He’ll be noticed.

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