Wally Backman Thinks He’s Being Blackballed From The MLB By Mets GM Sandy Alderson
I only have one main rule when it comes to baseball blogging. When you blog about Wally Backman, no matter what the context of the story, that’s the video you use. There’s no excuse for not having it in there.
Now, we’ve gone through some pretty entertaining Wally Backman stories and videos over the years, but we’ve never had a conspiracy theory before. This is some groundbreaking shit, so let’s get right into it. Backman, who is managing in the Mexican League now, after most recently managing the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate, the Las Vegas 51s, is alleging that Mets general manager Sandy Alderson is blackballing him from Major League Baseball.
Backman will be leaving for south of the border in about a month, convinced he’s been blackballed by GM Sandy Alderson. It’s an explosive charge, and not one that Backman makes lightly. But after a long winter of being turned down by other clubs, despite a willingness to start at the minor leagues’ lowest levels, Backman believes it’s his former boss who’s responsible. Actually, Backman says it’s not a guess or a hunch. He claims a friend in the commissioner’s office has tipped him off that Alderson is working against him.
“There’s been a bad roadblock, and I know where it’s coming from,” Backman said by telephone from his home in central Oregon. “In the last phone call I had with Sandy [in September] he said, ‘I will do anything I can to help you.’ But he is not an honest man. People are telling me, ‘Sandy has it in for you. You’re being blackballed.’”
“I’ve talked to several teams, and every one of them has said, ‘You’re overqualified.’ How can you be overqualified when you’re trying to win? No one is overqualified unless there’s something else going on.”
The rest of the story goes on to talk about how Alderson declined to comment, and cites sources close to him that said it’s not in his character to be “vindictive” or some shit like that. I don’t know the guy, so I can’t call bullshit here, but I see some holes in Backman’s logic. First thing that stands out to me is that Backman is talking about how badly he wants to win. As a minor league manager? That’s not your job. Your job is to follow the specific orders given to you by the organization as a means to develop the players you’re managing to their liking.
According to the story, the Mets asked Backman to resign or else he’d be fired, so he did. Backman was confused as to why the organization would want to let him go in the first place, but apparently the 57-year-old skipper’s fatal flaw was bypassing direct orders from the organization in order to win as many games as possible. Is that grounds for firing? Yup. But, being blackballed from the whole league? Either he’s not being blackballed at all, and teams just don’t want to hire him because they know he doesn’t listen to direct orders (likely), or there’s more to the story that we don’t know, which is causing every other organization in the league to pass on him (plausible).
Either way, I cannot wait for the videos that are going to come out now that Wally Backman is managing in Mexico. The language barrier is content waiting to happen.
PS — Google Translate tells me that “Vamos a coger una cerveza” is “Let’s go get a beer” in Spanish.