The Mets hired Wally Backman to manage the Class-A Brooklyn Cyclones.
And I am happy.
A few years ago I visited Backman out in Prineville, Oregon, then wrote this piece for ESPN.com on his shattered life and shattered career. Backman was/is a sad case. Tragic in the most Greek of ways. Much of the damage was self-inflictedâ€”the drinking, the domestic dispute, the police involvement, confronting the PA guy at the baseball game. He’s a volcano, and I hope the Mets fully realize that Wally Ball sometimes equals Crazy Ball.
That said, I believe Backman to be a good man; someone who cherishes baseball and will work hard to make sure this chanceâ€”his last chanceâ€”clicks. Consensus says he’s a killer managerâ€“one who doesn’t take any sâ€¢â€¢â€¢ while forcing his players to grind out each hit … each at-bat.
Will it work? I think yes.
And I also think, come 2011, he’s the manager of your New York Mets.