Tag:Wally Backman
Posted on: February 16, 2012 6:42 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2012 9:41 pm

Reaction to the death of Gary Carter

Gary Carter

Gary CarterBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The passing of Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter has brought an outpouring of emotion from those in and around baseball.

We'll collect many of the statements from those around baseball here.

MLB commissioner Bud Selig:
"Driven by a remarkable enthusiasm for the game, Gary Carter became one of the elite catchers of all-time. 'The Kid' was an 11-time All-Star and a durable, consistent slugger for the Montreal Expos and the New York Mets, and he ranks among the most beloved players in the history of both of those franchises.  Like all baseball fans, I will always remember his leadership for the '86 Mets and his pivotal role in one of the greatest World Series ever played.
"On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to Gary’s wife Sandy, their daughters Christy and Kimmie, their son D.J., their grandchildren, his friends and his many fans."

Statement from Mets chairman & CEO Fred Wilpon, president Saul Katz and COO Jeff Wilpon:
"On behalf of everyone at the Mets, we extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to Gary’s family -- his wife Sandy, daughters Christy and Kimmy and son D.J.  His nickname 'The Kid' captured how Gary approached life. He did everything with enthusiasm and with gusto on and off the field. His smile was infectious. He guided our young pitching staff to the World Series title in 1986 and he devoted an equal amount of time and energy raising awareness for a multitude of charities and community causes.  He was a Hall of Famer in everything he did."

Former Mets general manager Frank Cashen:
"The genesis of the trade was that we wanted to add a big bat to the lineup. He did that right away, but perhaps more importantly was the way he handled our young pitchers. He was the perfect guy for so many reasons."
Former Mets manager Davey Johnson:
"Gary was a one-man scouting system. What people didn’t know was that he kept an individual book on every batter in the National League. He was the ideal catcher for our young pitching staff."

Gary CarterFormer Mets teammate Darryl Strawberry:
"What he added to the team was character. His approach to the game was contagious. It spread to the rest of us. He helped each of us understand what it took to win."

Former Mets teammate Dwight Gooden:
"I relied on Gary for everything when I was on the mound including location, what pitch to throw and when. Even when I didn’t have my best stuff, he found a way to get me through the game. He was just a warrior on the field."
Former Mets teammate Wally Backman:
"He was like a big brother to me.  I always went to him for advice. No matter what time of day it was, he always had time for you."
Former Mets teammate Tim Teufel:
"The baseball community has lost a Hall of Fame player and a Hall of Fame person. He was a good man and will be missed terribly."

Former Mets teammate Mookie Wilson: 
"The one thing I remember about Gary was his smile. He loved life and loved to play the game of baseball."

Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench (on Twitter):
"I am so sad! The Kid has left us. I started calling him Kid the first time I met him. He was admired and loved. Thank you for our past"

Former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda:
"Gary Carter played for me with so much respect and enthusiasm for the game he loved. He was a Hall of Famer as a player and as a man. On behalf of the entire Dodger organization, we love him and will miss him."

MLB Players Association executive director Michael Weiner:
"We are saddened by the news of Gary Carter’s passing. Gary was one of the greatest players of his generation and his enthusiasm and passion for the game will live on in the hearts and minds of those of us fortunate enough to have watched him play. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Gary’s family, his former teammates and his legion of fans in the U.S. and Canada.”

Former Expos teammate Steve Rogers:
"Learning of Gary’s passing feels as if I just lost a family member. Gary and I grew up together in the game, and during our time with the Expos we were as close as brothers, if not closer. Gary was a champion. He was a 'gamer' in every sense of the word – on the field and in life. He made everyone else around him better, and he made me a better pitcher. His contributions to the game, both in Montreal and New York, are legendary and will likely never be duplicated. My heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Sandy, and children, Christy, Kimmy and D.J., and to his many friends and fans."

Hall of Fame pitcher Bert Blyleven:
"We both grew up in Southern Cal, though he was 3-to-4 years younger than I was. He was a great ballplayer and a tremendous family man, and I'll miss him."
Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk:
"We had a lot in common, from family to our profession. He endured a lot as a catcher, as did I. And making it to the Hall of Fame was over the top for Gary, as it has been for me. We knew each other for more than 30 years, he meant a lot to me. I'm crushed by his passing."
Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver:
"Nobody loved the game of baseball more than Gary Carter. Nobody enjoyed playing the game of baseball more than Gary Carter. He wore his heart on his sleeve every inning he played. For a catcher to play with that intensity in every game is special."
Hall of Fame manager Dick Williams:
"Johnny Bench was the No. 1 catcher of the 70s. Gary Carter (was) the No. 1 catcher of the 80s."

Hall of Fame Jane Forbes Clark:
"It is with profound sadness that we mourn the loss of Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter. Gary’s enthusiasm, giving spirit and infectious smile will always be remembered in Cooperstown. Our thoughts are with Sandy, Christy, Kimmie, DJ and the entire Carter family on this very sad day."

Current Mets pitcher Jonathon Niese, who played for Carter in the minors:
"The one thing Gary stressed to us was team. He said individual goals were meaningless. He said the name on the front of the uniform was more important than the name on the back. That's what I’ll take from my two years with him."

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Posted on: January 24, 2011 6:57 pm

Backman to manage Mets Double-A team

Wally Backman didn't get the job he wanted with the Mets , but he got a job with the Mets. The team named him the manager of Double-A Binghamton on Monday.

Backman, the former Mets second baseman, interviewed for the team's Major League job that went to Terry Collins. Backman was an overwhelming favorite for the job in November before the team chose Collins.

In Binghamton, he succeeds another former Met player, Tim Teufel. Teufel was named the team's manager at Triple-A Buffalo last week.

Backman, 51, managed short-season Class A Brooklyn last season.

"It's exciting to be with the Mets," Backman said in a statement released by the team. "It was almost like a homecoming coming back to the Mets last year. Being traded for the first time takes a piece of you. I would say my heart never left New York."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Category: MLB
Posted on: November 26, 2010 9:23 pm

Backman disappointed he didn't get Mets job

When you're a newspaper writer, nothing ever seems to upset people quite like a headline. Throughout my career, I've been yelled about a headline countless times, only to answer time and time again, that very rarely does the person who writes the story write the headline.

But even with my newspaper background, I sometimes fall for that old trick. And a case in point is this headline from the New York Daily News ; "Wally Backman: Mets should've chosen me over Terry Collins for manager."

Oh, even before I clicked it, I knew I was going to write about how Backman had learned nothing from his exile and he was alienating himself from the new Mets regime and possibly hurting his job status, managing for the Mets' Class A affiliate in Brooklyn.

Then I read John Harper's story .

Instead of an immature Backman flying off the hook, you hear a man who thought he interviewed well and didn't get the job.

From the story:
"I really thought I won them over," Backman said by phone Friday from his home in Oregon. "I came out of each interview thinking it had gone better than the one with the Diamondbacks when I got the job there (in 2004).

"I knew what was being said (in the media), that the other guys were the favorites, but I kept looking at it, thinking I could make them see that I was the best guy for the job. I guess I didn't convince them."
Backman says he still hopes to manage the Mets one day and he isn't quoted as saying anything against Collins or the Mets. In the end, it's just a guy who hoped he would get a job he felt qualified for, and there's nothing wrong with that.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans 

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.  

Category: MLB
Posted on: November 21, 2010 11:00 am
Edited on: November 21, 2010 4:49 pm

Davey Johnson endorses Terry Collins for Mets job

Johnson The Mets are gearing up to name their new manager as early as Monday, with the candidates down to four.

Of the four candidates remaining, Bob Melvin and Terry Collins appear to be the frontrunners, although Chip Hale and Wally Backman are still in the running.

If Davey Johnson had the job Sandy Alderson currently occupies, it appears as if his pick would be Collins, as the New York Post relays.

"If I was the GM, I would want somebody that best knew the whole system," Johnson said of Collins, who has been serving as the team's minor league field coordinator. "I'm sure Sandy agrees with this: People who know where talent is on the minor league level and how long it's going to take to get to the major leagues and how it will affect the major league roster, those are very important people. I would think [Collins] would be the frontrunner."

Johnson (pictured) draws on his own personal experience of having spent three seasons managing in New York's minors in endorsing Collins for the job, saying that with the Mets having to rebuild within, it's important to know who on the farm can be part of that process.

"When I first got there my first conversation with [GM] Frank Cashen was, 'I've got three or four guys on the minor league level that I would like in the majors.' " Johnson noted. "We talked about that. 'I'll go with your guys on the major league level, but if they are not cutting it, I want to be able to dump those guys and bring up guys from the minor leagues.' Whoever [Alderson] has that relationship with is very tantamount."

Johnson, who remains the only manager in history to lead the Mets to a World Series title, has a soft spot for Backman, who played under Johnson for five seasons. However, decisions have to be made with the mind, not the heart.

"It all boils down to who Alderson trusts the most," Johnson added. "When [Alderson] thinks he's going to be able to win and who is going to be the guy that helps put that schedule into place."

UPDATE : Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that Bob Melvin will not be the next Mets skipper. That seems to clear the way for Collins.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 18, 2010 5:29 pm

Mets hope to make manager call soon

Sandy Alderson
The Mets have finished parading their Final Four through the Orlando Waldorf Astoria, and general manager Sandy Alderson's post-interview comments to reporters left some of them with the impression the team might have already reached a consensus.

Terry Collins and Wally Backman interviewed Thursday, a day after Bob Melvin and Chip Hale. Alderson indicated a decision could be coming "in the next two to three days." The memorial service for Alderson's father, who was struck and killed by a car last weekend, is scheduled for Saturday, so look for the Mets to either strike quickly with an announcement on Friday or wait until Monday.

All indications are that the Mets are down to Collins and Melvin, and they represent two very different approaches and personalities. Melvin is known as staid and analytical, while Collins is fiery and emotional (Ken Davidoff of Newsday , meeting Collins for the first time this week, called him "intense to the point of being off-putting").

Watching what everyone has said and done in this situation, I've got a feeling it's going to be Melvin. The former Diamondbacks and Mariners manager meshes well with the style of Alderson and the front-office staff he's been assembling. I worked with Melvin on an almost daily basis for two years when he managed in Seattle, and he's both extremely intelligent and much more competitive than people assume from his under-control demeanor. He's similar in comportment and approach to Tampa Bay's Joe Maddon, who has worked wonders. Fans will scream "boring" if Melvin is the pick, but Alderson knows public opinion doesn't win ballgames.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 17, 2010 10:52 pm

Mets to decide on manager soon

Bob Melvin The Mets should finish their search for a manager Sunday or Monday, general manager Sandy Alderson told reporters at the general managers' meetings in Orlando on Wednesday.

Alderson said he expects a decision by Sunday or Monday and a press conference  on Tuesday.

Chip Hale and Bob Melvin (pictured) had their second interviews today, and based on what was said, well, it doesn't exactly change the popular belief that Hale and Wally Backman are getting courtesy interviews and the real race is between Melvin and Terry Collins. Collins and Backman are scheduled to interview Thursday.

According to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (via Twitter ), Alderson said Hale's interview was more about introducing him to Paul DePodesta and J.P. Ricciardi, while things were more detailed with Melvin's interview.

"In Bob's case, it was more detailed, more talk about coaching staff," Alderson said. "More detailed discussion of philosophy."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 16, 2010 7:10 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2010 9:12 pm

Mets have four managerial finalists

Mets third-base coach Chip Hale has been told he's a finalist for the managerial position, Ken Davidoff of Newsday tweets .

Previously there had been reports that the Mets were down to two finalists for their managerial opening, Bob Melvin and Terry Collins. Public opinion to those reports haven't been positive.

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson interviewed Cardinals third-base coach Jose Oquendo on Monday. The team has also interviewed Dave Jauss, Wally Backman, DeMarlo Hale and Don Wakamatsu.

UPDATE: Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com quotes Alderson as saying the opening round of interviews is done.

"We hope to bring back several candidates over the balance of this week," Alderson said. "If everything goes as we hope, we could have the second round completed by the end of the week. There won’t need to be a Round 3. … I would say right now that it’s very possible we’d have a manager announced by Thanksgiving."

UPDATE: Backman will also get a second interview, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News tweets .

UPDATE: The Mets have confirmed they're down to the four finalists: Hale, Melvin, Collins and Backman.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 14, 2010 4:10 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2010 5:34 pm

Mets search down to two: Collins, Melvin

Despite Jose Oquendo interviewing for the Mets' manager's job tomorrow, it appears that the team is down to two -- Terry Collins and Bob Melvin, the New York Times reports .

Clint Hurdle interviewed for the job, but is apparently headed to Pittsburgh. Ken Oberkfell interviewed on Friday, but the Times writes "neither Oberkfell nor Oquendo are considered serious contenders for the job."

The Mets have also interviewed Chip Hale, Dave Jauss, Wally Backman, DeMarlo Hale and Don Wakamatsu.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com