I certainly hope so. Tonight is the managerial debut of a beloved former Met, Wally Backman. David Lennon has a great post about Backman and his philosophy. Backman still has the fire that endeared him to Mets fans in the 1980's. Among some of the things he expects from his players: __________________________________________________________________ "One of the things that I do is I take losses personally, and I try to instill that in my players: take it personal. This is your job. You're paid X amount of dollars to do whatever you can do, and I expect at least 100 percent on the field. I think the only reason you play a professional sport is to win a championship. And if you look at it any other way, that's not the guy I want playing for me." ___________________________________________________________________
Lennon makes a real insightful interpretation of Backman's managerial style; he compares it to Atlanta's Bobby Cox, whom players love playing for. Marlins 2B Dan Uggla said he felt so strongly about Backman, that he "would have run through a brick wall for him."Uggla played for Backman in Class A Lancaster.
"I try to earn the trust of my players. I'm going to get -- off when we lose, but I don't take it to any extreme. There's times when I'm going to chew some butt once in a while, and it's all for a good reason. I'm not going to yell and scream just because we lost a game. It really depends on how they go about their business. And they learn pretty quickly what my expectations are." __________________________________________________________________
Backman is known for his fiery attitude and presence on the field, and is not afraid to get tossed from a game. He goes to the end of the earth for his players, and does not plan on changing:
"I'm not going to say that I'm going to change. Most of the time, you're protecting your players. Am I going to throw bats and balls? No, I'm not going to do that kind of stuff. People perceive me in different ways. Have I got thrown out of games? Absolutely. Am I still going to get thrown out of games? Without a question.
"But 99 percent of the time, it's protecting your players. They know that if something happens, I've got their back, I'm very capable of yelling and screaming at an umpire and getting thrown out of a game, but it's over with just as fast. Very, very seldom will you see me get thrown out of a game without a player being ejected first."_________________________________________________________________
Tonight Wally Backman will begin his Met managerial career in Staten Island against the Staten Island Yankees.
Will it be long before his NY Mets managerial career begins?