“All I want to do is win a world’s championship again,” insists Joliet Jackhammers skipper Wally Backman, exiled in the indie Northern League after the briefest of tenures as Diamondbacks manager in 2004. And while Rick Barry or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar might well nod their heads at the injustice of it all, the New York Post’s Kevin Kernan calls Backman, “a self-professed ‘computer rat’ who is up on all the numbers. He brings together both managerial worlds, computer-age and going with your gut. He™s part Harvard, part œAnimal House, the perfect baseball breed.” Hey, drunk, stupid and emulating Davey Johnson is no way to go thru life.

Backman made it clear he was not campaigning for Willie Randolph’s job.

“No way,” he said. “I’m not campaigning for it. I want back in an organization.

“Can I manage in the big leagues? No question I can. But I am not looking for Willie’s job. I’m actually a [bleeping] fan of his. He’s under a pressure situation there that any little thing could cost him.”

“If I was asked to interview for the (Mets) big league job,” Backman wondered, “why can’t I get a minor league job?”

Minaya confirmed that the Mets were set to interview Backman.

“I really don’t know Wally that well, but we wanted to interview him,” Minaya said. As for the chance that Backman, one of the more popular Mets ever, might get back into the organization some day, Minaya said, “All our spots are filled right now.”