New York Mets former baseball man Wally Backman says he’s been ‘blackballed’ by general manager Sandy Alderson.Every once in a while, no more than once in a given two-month period, a Wally Backman story seems to surface. And it’s by no coincidence that most seem to indict Mets’ general manager Sandy Alderson, a longtime opponent to Backman’s management of the Triple-A Vegas team.
To little surprise in the industry, the Mets and Backman — a member of the franchise’s last World Championship — parted ways, with Backman saying his fate was either resignation or dismissal.
The most recent development: Backman’s claiming that his former boss is actively working against him in an effort to keep him out of a job. At that, according to the former 51s skipper, Alderson has been successful as Backman is set to manage in Mexico in 2017.
In an interview with NorthJersey.com’s Bob Klapisch, Backman didn’t mince words in a clear charge against Alderson.
“There’s been a roadblock, and I know where it’s coming from. 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,’” said Backman.
The history of the pair, Alderson and Backman, is riddled with disagreement, and Backman claims the latest strife came when the front office was dissatisfied with his handling of top outfield prospects Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo.
Iterating his clear commitment to the lefty-swinging prospects, Backman told Klapisch, “No one wanted those kids to succeed more than me.”
And not only does Backman open up on his issues with the Mets’ general manager, but he says the Wilpons — the Mets majority ownership family — “betrayed” him, noting that “Jeff [Wilpon] didn’t stand up for me.”
The tell-all interview reveals a Backman clearly in hot desire of a major league job — he goes so far as to say he’d bail on his Mexico commitment and “take [a U.S. offer] in a minute” — who’d be steadfast to seek vengeance in the big leagues on a Mets’ club he doesn’t feel did right by him.
For what it’s worth, the 57-year old boasts an impressive minor league record — two Pacific Coast League South Division titled and a manager of the year nod in 2014 — along with a baseball knowhow and fiery disposition.
So, there’s your update on the former Triple-A Las Vegas manager who still manages to make headlines even given that job status. With a position in Mexico, Backman fades in the eyes of Mets’ fans into further obscurity and well out of the limelight — but just leave it to him to get back into the news cycle.