Last winter, the New York Post said Backman had been considering whether to become Davey Johnson’s third-base coach with the Nationals before accepting a position managing Triple-A Buffalo for the Mets.
This time around, "I bet you he will be gone," a person close to Backman recently told the New York Post's Mike Puma.
The way I heard it last winter, Davey told Wally he could join his bench in DC, but it would better for him to do the time in Triple-A (if his goal was to eventually be a big-league manager). He did a great job in Buffalo this summer, especially in helping get players ready for Citi Field. The Mets were pleased, but he's clearly not in their plans for Terry's bench, since Collins said yesterday his entire coaching staff (as is) will be returning in 2013.
Nevertheless, Wally clearly wants the big chair... and there will be job openings this winter... just not with the Mets. It will be interesting to see what he does if he isn't asked to interview for one of those openings (especially if Collins doesn't get a contract extension this winter, suggesting he could be fired mid-season). The buzz around Wally indicates he'd prefer not to end up back in Triple-A, let alone in Vegas (not Buffalo). At the same time, it's bad form in baseball circles to turn down an upper-level managerial position (assuming it's the best offer available). In other words, he's in a weird spot...
In regards to him one day managing the Mets, I'm torn. As I said, by all accounts, he did a really good job in Triple-A this season. I've talked to players on the Mets, who have played for him, and most all seem to like and respect him. They said they most appreciate his honesty and how direct and supportive he is, especially when things may not be going well. Naturally, the older players I've talked with seemed indifferent. That said, while no one really questions his on-field judgement, I still sense concern in baseball (be it around the Mets or other teams I talk to) about his ability to stay cool, manage media and deal with stubborn veteran talent every day, every night, for 162 games. In other words, it seems the honesty and passion that his players (and fans) admire is the same thing that worries some team officials.