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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Backman named PCL’s top manager

Shouldn’t Vegas be the Aces? Are they named after Roswell, in a different state? What is this??

Wally Backman on Friday was named the 2014 Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year… With three games left in the regular season, Backman has led the 51s to the PCL’s best record, at 80-61, after guiding it to an 81-63 mark last season that was the second-best in the league…

Finishing second to Backman in the Manager of the Year voting was Sacramento’s Steve Scarsone, followed by Memphis’ Pop Warner and Reno’s Phil Nevin, who earned Backman’s vote.

Backman said Nevin, whose Aces could be the 51s’ first-round playoff opponent — the first two games are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday at Cashman Field — does a great job of matching wits against him…

Backman was named Arizona Diamondbacks manager on Nov. 1, 2004 but was fired on Nov. 5 amid legal and financial revelations… While Backman declined to speculate if winning the PCL award might help his quest to become a big league manager, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said recently at Cashman Field that he’s a capable candidate.

“He certainly deserves an opportunity, especially with the consistency of his winning at both this level and previously at the Double-A level,” Alderson said. “It’s very possible.”

As for what has prevented Backman from already getting an opportunity, Alderson said it’s hard to say.

“Each organization might be looking for someone slightly different,” he said. “Eventually there may be a match.”

The District Attorney Posted: August 31, 2014 at 10:31 AM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: las vegas 51s, mets, minor leagues, wally backman

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   1. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: August 31, 2014 at 11:50 AM (#4782755)
Shouldn’t Vegas be the Aces? Are they named after Roswell, in a different state? What is this??
Area 51 is in Nevada. Obama and Jonathan Frakes caused the alien vessel to crash in New Mexico, but they took it to Nevada so that Wally Backman could name his team after the secret air base there.

P.S.:
July 8, 1947 -- the alien vessel crashes at Roswell.
July 9, 1947 -- O.J. Simpson is born.
   2. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 31, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4782762)
for some reason, of all the dirtbags on the 86 Mets, I always found him the dirt-baggiest
   3. Mike Emeigh Posted: August 31, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4782766)
I'd like to see both Backman and Nevin get major-league jobs, along with Durham's Charlie Montoyo.

-- MWE
   4. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: August 31, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4782770)
If the Mets lose today, they will be in last place in the NL East. For some reason, there is a positive vibe about this team despite this fact. There's been some positive things going on with their farm system and some younger players on the team have developed nicely. All that said, a last place finish would be pretty disappointing to me.

If the Mets don't seriously contend next year, I would fire Sandy and the rest of his band.
   5. Dag Nabbit is a cornucopia of errors Posted: August 31, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4782772)
Was Backman the minor league manager the White Sox fired when he told a reporter he was rooting against the big league club in hopes of them firing their manager and him getting hired as the replacement?
   6. The District Attorney Posted: August 31, 2014 at 01:16 PM (#4782776)
Area 51 is in Nevada.
Alright. Still not exactly what Las Vegas is famous for...

For some reason, there is a positive vibe about this team...
Is there? I mean, among the hardcore fans, maybe a little. The progress made by Lagares, Herrera, d'Arnaud, Wheeler, deGrom, and Duda is terrific. But Wright has been awful; Granderson, whose upside was probably never any more than "justify the contract", doesn't look like he'll do that; Flores and Syndegaard have "flashed talent" but overall really struggled; d'Arnaud is kind of getting credit for sucking so horribly in the first half; and as good a year as Duda has had, you'd much rather that the guy who made the Great Leap was one of the young'uns. I honestly don't know what to make of a season where the B-team stepped up while the A-team (other than Wheeler) took a step backwards.

Among the masses, I don't think there's a "positive vibe about the team" at all. I think there's immense malaise, boredom, and disinterest.

Was Backman the minor league manager the White Sox fired when he told a reporter he was rooting against the big league club in hopes of them firing their manager and him getting hired as the replacement?
Yes. Now, that was before the D'backs thing, so he can still make a "I've cleaned up my act" argument.

If I did believe that Backman was a changed man, I'd hire him. His managerial record, as far as I can tell, looks good. Alderson's comments above sound kind of like a kiss-off to the possibility of the Mets job, but Alderson always speaks in parables, so who knows. It won't be Opening Day next year, anyway. I'm always amused to think that Backman and Tim Teufel may still be competing for the same job...
   7. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: August 31, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4782794)
I'd defer to your opinion about the Met fan masses as I don't interact with Met fans outside this forum.
   8. Win Big Stein's Money Posted: August 31, 2014 at 02:46 PM (#4782814)
I don't interact with Met fans outside this forum.


Safer not to be ousted in public.
   9. ReggieThomasLives Posted: August 31, 2014 at 10:43 PM (#4782993)
Backmans the last guy I'd ever let manage my minor leaguers, let alone my MLB team. The minors are about developing talent not winning games. imagine the entitled BS habits Wally imparts to his minor leaguers.
   10. theboyqueen Posted: August 31, 2014 at 10:59 PM (#4782998)
imagine the entitled BS habits Wally imparts to his minor leaguers.


I'm trying to imagine this and falling short. What exactly are you talking about?
   11. PreservedFish Posted: August 31, 2014 at 11:51 PM (#4783014)
Backmans the last guy I'd ever let manage my minor leaguers, let alone my MLB team. The minors are about developing talent not winning games.


I don't think I agree with this. If they are winning games it means they are doing things right. Is Backman burying prospects in favor of AAAA types? I doubt he'd keep getting chances if that were the case.
   12. ReggieThomasLives Posted: September 01, 2014 at 02:57 AM (#4783033)
I'm trying to imagine this and falling short. What exactly are you talking about?


His freaky, over the top ejections, where he loses all trace of sanity are just a start. He's lacking in moral judgement and perspective for another. His comment about wanting the White Sox to lose so he could get promoted wasn't atypical for him any more than his assault arrest, his DUI, or filing bankruptcy to escape his obligations to his creditors, or allegedly lying to the owner of the Diamondbacks during his "hiring" there.

If he had done only two of those things and I could believe he's a changed man I'd be open to hiring him. But when he's repeatedly shown himself to be a self centered egotist who would cut any corner to advance himself, I'll pass on believing he can changed.

If they are winning games it means they are doing things right. Is Backman burying prospects in favor of AAAA types?


If they are winning games it means they are playing better talent than their opponents, either older players or just flat out better ones. Wally doesn't hit, pitch or field, the effect he has on their winning percentage can only be minor. As it was in Binghamton where he had a losing record, and in Joliet where his team was in last place.


Billy Martin was a very good manager in many ways, but he also destroyed some amazingly talented pitchers, burnt out his welcome super fast everywhere he went, and you couldn't trust him ever, on anything. I understand the love baseball fans have for the lightning in a bottle little general who gives you that one great year by turning everything upside down. I'd just rather have the calm, smart, leader to build for the long term and hopefully have more than that one big year.
   13. billyshears Posted: September 01, 2014 at 10:12 AM (#4783064)
filing bankruptcy to escape his obligations to his creditors


Is that even legal?
   14. formerly dp Posted: September 01, 2014 at 01:09 PM (#4783135)
Is there? I mean, among the hardcore fans, maybe a little.
They're losing with a better team, if that makes sense-- in the terrible August/September months of seasons passed, the guys they've had playing out the stretch were really bottom of the barrel types. The bullpen's stocked with some quality arms, in the OF they're giving den Dekker a shot, same thing at SS with Flores (it's not much given how lost he's looked,, but in his last 5 games he's at .400/.471/.667), and even moreso with Herrera at 2B. The Granderson contract looks like a catastrophe though, and Wright's struggles have gone on long enough to suggest there's a legitimate cause for concern there.
   15. ReggieThomasLives Posted: September 01, 2014 at 01:16 PM (#4783140)
Yea, obviously it's legal and I apologize for inferring it's immoral.

Wally made $4.3M+ in his MLB career, and earned a MLB pension. The bankruptcy shows a lack of personal control/planning, and a willingness to take the easy way out, if he was underwater on his obligations vs. his assets it protects his pension, but he also had the ability to repay his lenders over time by working and using pension income, but chose not too. It was also a long time ago, and maybe a best learning experience that changed him.

it's the other stuff that says no, he's just a dishonest ass. Red Ass isnt often combined with smarts in my book, and I prefer smarts and honesty always in my hires.
   16. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: September 01, 2014 at 01:31 PM (#4783149)
How do you guys feel about the job Sandy and crew have done? I really do vacillate. On one hand, they have made a few really good trades. The Beltran/Dickey/Byrd trades are all pretty good returns. On the other hand, they've done a terrible job spending money in free agency. Colon/Young/Granderson were paid about 30 million dollars this year and they've combined to produce 1.6 WAR. I will say that Colon has value beyond his 0.7 WAR because he does eat innings reliably which is important for a young rotation.

They've been on the job for nearly as long as Minaya was on. Omar did not leave this without assets and a lot of the good players on the team were in the system when he was GM. For a well respected group of executives, at least respected around here, I expect them to be pretty good soon. If they win like 70-80 games next season, I'd certainly at least consider changing things if I were in charge.

We make fun of Dayton Moore for needing 8 years to build a contender. If things don't improve soon, Sandy and crew will be getting close to that time period as well.
   17. formerly dp Posted: September 01, 2014 at 02:01 PM (#4783159)
How do you guys feel about the job Sandy and crew have done? I really do vacillate.
The "spending money" question doesn't matter yet-- but I think in 2015 it absolutely will. The Granderson contract will hamstring them a bit in the next few years, so that deal (as opposed to the middling contracts handed out to relievers) is a but damning, for sure. What's more important is his ability to infuse talent into the system through trades-- and I'm not confident another GM would've snagged Wheeler, d'Arnaud, Syndergaard, Black, and Herrera (who just homered, btw) for Beltran, Dickey, and Byrd. If they pan out, that's 40% of a starting rotation, a setup guy, and a couple of quality/cheap regulars for guys who were gone anyway.
   18. bunyon Posted: September 01, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4783169)
His freaky, over the top ejections, where he loses all trace of sanity are just a start. He's lacking in moral judgement and perspective for another. His comment about wanting the White Sox to lose so he could get promoted wasn't atypical for him any more than his assault arrest, his DUI, or filing bankruptcy to escape his obligations to his creditors, or allegedly lying to the owner of the Diamondbacks during his "hiring" there.

Billy Martin
Earl Weaver
Bobby Cox
Tony LaRussa


Yeah, drunk egotists who get ejected a lot make terrible managers.

(Okay, seriously, I'm not saying those are traits you select for, but, if the guy gets results and does a good job grooming players, you forgive the other stuff. If Backman can manage - and it appears that he can - then he should get a shot, no matter how big an ####### he may be.)
   19. greenback calls it soccer Posted: September 01, 2014 at 02:41 PM (#4783175)
La Russa had a lot of ejections because he managed 5,000 games. On a rate basis he was pretty average.

ETA: Source
   20. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 04:40 PM (#4783225)
Yeah, it strikes me that ejections qua ejections are not necessarily indicative of being a bad manager -- though there is something to the quality and timing of blowups that might inform whether or not a guy is suitable to a major league job. I don't know anything about Backman, really, but it seems to me you don't want the following things:

(1) A guy who repeatedly gets ejected in close games;
(2) a guy who starts fights his players don't care about;
(3) a guy who takes out his frustrations with his bosses / team / fans on the umpires;
(4) a guy who is such a pain in the ass that umpires really, genuinely hate his guts.

Really, any of these can be overcome, of course, if your manager has a lot of other good qualities. But if you have all four, I think you have a headcase on your hands.
   21. ReggieThomasLives Posted: September 01, 2014 at 05:35 PM (#4783270)
Billy Martin
Earl Weaver
Bobby Cox
Tony LaRussa


I take three of the four with no question, so I'm clearly a hypocrite.

It's a long season, I prefer a guy who instills professionalism and exhibits patience. Maybe I'm being unfair to Wally and if I sat down with him I'd find he's nit the guy his track record seems to paint. But no matter what other qualities you look for, I don't think you can ever compromise on honesty. I'd take an emotional guy who yells at me face to face (in my office preferably) over stuff he cares about as long as he's always honest, rather than a quiet guy who tells me one thing to my face and his coaches/the team another.

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