Wally ball in Queens? Unlikely

October, 27, 2010

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews
Wally Backman is expected to get an interview, but not emerge as the next Mets manager.

Wally Backman is expected to get an interview for the New York Mets' managerial vacancy, but he's highly unlikely to actually be the person selected.

In his return to affiliated baseball, the 51-year-old Backman managed Brooklyn to the New York-Penn League championship series this year, where the Cyclones were swept by Tri-City. He last had worked in a major league organization in 2004 with Class A Lancaster in the Arizona Diamondbacks system.

“He’s one of my all-time favorite managers -- just people in baseball, bottom line,” Florida Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla, who played for Backman in '04, told ESPNNewYork.com during this season. “He really cares about the game. He really cares about his players. And he cares about winning. Wally, I know he’s been through some tough times, but he is seriously one of the best guys I’ve ever met in baseball. He helped me out a ton. ... I’ll tell you what, if you play for Wally Backman, you’re going to be able to run through a brick wall, because we have the same emotions toward him as he has toward us. I mean, I would have run through a brick wall for him. Everybody is playing hard -- I think playing above their ability -- when they play for a guy like that.”

Incoming GM Sandy Alderson twice hired managers in Oakland with major league experience: Tony La Russa (after a stint with the Chicago White Sox) and Art Howe (after a stint with the Houston Astros).

UPDATE: It has been noted that Bud Black was hired for the San Diego managerial position for the 2007 season without previous managerial experience while Alderson was CEO there. The Oakland hiring tendencies are not why I am suggesting Backman is not a serious candidate. Simply, my information is that the Mets will go in another direction.

Adam Rubin

ESPN Staff Writer
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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