You guys remember Wally Backman, right? Backman was the skipper for the Arizona Diamondbacks for about seventeen minutes. Now he’s back on the bottom, looking to work his way back up to the top. Once the ‘Backs* started digging around in Wally’s past, a few things became apparent, which lead to his eventual firing:
1. He had an arrest record which included counts of domestic violence offenses.
2. He’d been nailed for a DWI, which probably means he’s an alcoholic.
3. He’d filed for bankruptcy.
This is cause for firing, how exactly? How many broke former players out there love to slap wives and get wasted? Precisely? I’d say all of them. Backman wasn’t a superstar. He was a grinder. Sometimes, the stress of a long day gets to a grinder. He’s sore from a ten-day road trip, the eight prescription strength anti-inflammatories are making a little blood come out of his stool, and then his wife starts giving it to him for not spending enough time with the kids. Can you really fault the guy for giving the wife a slap? Sean Connery doesn’t!!** Besides, that little list of transgressions basically describes Kirby Puckett, doesn’t it? And they have him stuffed and under glass right outside the Metrodome. I heard it’s a striking thing to see. Horrifying, really.
Regardless, just because Backman hits the sauce a little too hard, and was unfortunate enough to get nailed by the cops before plowing into a tree doesn’t make him a bad baseball man. In fact, it probably makes him a great baseball man. When you’re the skipper of a young team like the ‘Backs, you’re not just looking for a guy who knows how to do a double switch, and someone who knows well enough to sit Chad Tracy in any and all circumstances. You’re looking for a leader who can teach about life. When Connor Jackson is hitting .320, putting spinners on the whip, and thinking about getting a gun for protection, Backman can be all like “Nah, man. Hove did that, so hopefully, y’all don’t have to go through that.” After all, you can’t spell Maybach without “Back.”***
The guy has won at every level, and God knows there are some awful skippers managing major league teams. Eric Wedge? Mike Hargove? You’re telling me Wally Backman would inspire less confidence then these guys? Please. Wally Backman can out-manage these drones while drunk and high off painkillers. Give the man a shot, baseball!
*D-Backs is a pain the ass to type. And isn’t simply saying “Backs” a lot easier to say? Isn't it cooler?? Besides, anyone who’s anyone knows there’s only one D-hyphen-anything in this country, and that’s D-troit. 8 Mile, bitches. Shady entertainment.
** Only because I love you:
*** Actually you can. Correctly.