NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It seems Wally Backman isn’t so popular in Flushing these days — at least among Mets brass.
The Triple-A Las Vegas manager has “rubbed some in the organization the wrong way” by talking a big game about fixing demoted first baseman Ike Davis, according to Newsday.
In fact, it may have killed his chances of managing the big-league team if Terry Collins gets the boot. Fans have been calling for New York to hire the fiery Backman for years.
“There’s zero chance of that (taking over for Collins) happening,” a source told Newsday. “Zero.”
The floundering team has given Collins assurances that he’s “not in danger” of being fired, the paper reported, adding his future “will be discussed” at season’s end. Collins beat out Backman for the job in 2010.
Backman, beloved for his role on the Mets’ 1986 championship team, responded to the New York Daily News: “I’m sorry if I ruffled any feathers.”
“If you’ve got an issue with me, call me,” he said.
Backman told WFAN radio on Tuesday that Davis, unable to get his swing going under the tutelage of the major league coaching staff, “is gonna get right” on his watch.
“I think, to be honest with you, I’m going to say that it’s probably 80 percent mental for this kid,” Backman told WFAN host Mike Francesa. “And that’s why we really want to clear his mind and get him right.”
Backman said it’s time for the 26-year-old to “start fresh.” Davis was batting .161 with five home runs and 16 RBIs in 55 games before being sent down. He also struck out 66 times in 186 at-bats.
“I’ve watched a lot of the video from when he first went to the big leagues, and this kid has made a lot of changes, in my opinion, way too fast,” said Backman, who also spoke with reporters about Davis in Las Vegas.
The 26-year-old Davis is 2-for-8 with a double and three strikeouts in two games for the 51s.
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