Now that Phase 1 — and, we suppose, Phase 1.5 — of the Great Mets Makeover of 2010 is complete, the team can turn its attention to hiring a new manager. They've begun to schedule interviews with internal candidates, and though the team hasn't officially named any names, third-base coach Chip Hale and, yes, Cyclones manager Wally Backman will reportedly be among those interviewed.
About Backman: It's not hard to find someone who thinks Alderson ultimately won't hire him. But in an espn.com chat yesterday, Adam Rubin explained why he doesn't think Backman will get the job, and it doesn't have to do with his lack of big-league managerial experience. Rubin, via MetsBlog: "If I can say it cryptically, I just think the Mets know things that are not circulated and don't feel comfortable." Oh.
Rubin wouldn't elaborate other than to say "I don't want to send everyone into a tizzy, but you hear things that you cannot report, but which point you to a certain conclusion." It hardly seems fair to Backman: Rubin apparently knows that the Mets are aware of something damaging enough that it would prevent them from hiring him — something beyond the "things" that cost him the Diamondbacks job, and something he also apparently knows he isn't supposed to report. Which is fine. But to then report the existence of these unspecified "things" isn't right, either. It raises all sorts of questions about Backman, but answers none. It short, it leads to exactly the kind of tizzy Rubin says he wants to avoid.