Still smarting over his unceremonious dismisssal before managing a single game for Arizona, Wally Backman rails at the injustice of it all.
Backman, though, maintains his well-chronicled plunge was “full of half-truths” and that he was incorrectly portrayed as “a drunken wife-beater.”
“People tend to believe everything they read,” he said, “even when it’s not true. . . . You’d think I was so bad, I was playing for the Portland Trail Blazers or something, but trust me, I haven’t done anything bad enough to play for them yet.”
Backman laughs, but when the subject turns to Kendrick, his voice turns serious.
“Ken said some hurtful things, including a comment that I wasn’t big league material,” Backman said, referring to quotes by D-backs General Partner Ken Kendrick in an article this summer in the Oregonian.
Any team that hires Backman, even for a minor league job, will have to be prepared for a potential public-relations nightmare when his story is rehashed. That could prompt a negative response from the fan base.
“I can see how an organization could be interested by his personality and his passion, especially if they want to send a message to their players,” said an executive for a team in the National League East. “Wally’s a good baseball man and I’m sure he’ll make it back. He should be back.
“It just won’t happen with us.”
Especially not if Willie Randolph is under contract for a few more years.