Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
November 8, 2004
BASEBALL: Backman Out

Well, I admit I was wrong to say the Mets should have hired Wally Backman to manage, after the Diamondbacks fire him after discovering past arrests for DUI and domestic violence. Lesson for fans: sometimes, the insiders do know things we don't. Lesson for Arizona: do your background checks first. It's a shame, because Backman had the hallmarks of a successful manager. A lot of great managers have had off-field issues, of course, but it's just not acceptable anymore to look the other way at them.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:48 AM | Baseball 2004 | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Does anyone have the specifics on his criminal charges? It is unbecoming on the face, but the facts are the issue. The DUI could be .08 or it could be .15. It's the same under the law, but .08 is sticking around for 1 extra drink, whereas .15 is a public menace. Regarding the Domestic Violence charge, again context is key. Did he physically threaten or harm his wife, or did kick something while arguing with her. There is a pattern of questionable behavior, but the specifics matter. Perhaps he has committed two serious crimes. If not, his career has ended because of poor judgment, sub par legal advice, and a zero tolerance society.

Posted by: dave at November 8, 2004 3:16 PM

Regardless of the severity of the charges, I think that failing to tell a prospective employer about them, when applying for a highly visible position in a PR-sensitive industry is reason enough for me to let him go.

Posted by: Jerry at November 8, 2004 4:10 PM

I agree Jerry. But the story is not playing as bad judgment, or withholding information, in my opinion. The overall impression I get from media coverage is Backman is a wife beating drunk. If that's not the case, the sports media should clarify the issue. Currently, he is unemployable in any MLB capacity. It seems extreme based on the facts as we know them.

Posted by: dave at November 8, 2004 9:17 PM

What makes him different than 50% of the players out there? So he filed for bankruptcy & has a DUI. I am sure there are tons of people out in the real world that have done the same. Wally should be managing in MLB. If Bobby Cox can do it for all these years why can't Wally.

Posted by: Russ at November 19, 2004 11:39 AM
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