Fan favorite Wally Backman didn’t get the Mets managerial job last season, and now he may be headed to another team where the road to finally becoming a big league skipper appears easier. The New York Post reports Backman may leave the Mets and head down to D.C. to be Davey Johnson’s third base coach with the Nationals.
A Mets source said Johnson would likely groom his former player to take his place, much like Bobby Cox took Fredi Gonzalez under his wing to succeed him in Atlanta.
It would be a good move for Backman. The Mets are obviously happy with Terry Collins — they’ve already picked up his 2013 option. The 68-year-old Johnson, who came out of a ten-year retirement to take over the Nats during the season, probably won’t want to manage for the long haul, so this would be Backman’s quickest route to the big job.
If he stays with the Mets, he is in line to be the manager of Triple-A Buffalo. He is apparently not in consideration for the open bench coach job on Collins’s staff.
It must be frustrating for Backman; he thought he was getting his chance after the 2003 season, but only days after being named manager of the Diamondbacks he was fired when his past legal and financial problems emerged.
Now eight years later he’s still waiting. This would be good for Backman but bad for the Mets. Collins did a good job for the Mets in 2011, but I think Backman has the potential to be a special manager for years to come.