Wally Backman ends his tenure as Diamondbacks manager with a perfect record.
Jim: I checked the stats for this site last week, and one of the searches that had led someone to baseballrelated.com was “wally backman drinking problem,” or something like that. After he was hired Monday, I e-mailed Levi to say, “I wonder if that was the Diamondbacks checking up on him.” I guess it wasn’t!
Congratulations to inadvertent hanger-on Wally Backman for being named the new manager of the Diamondbacks today. Looking forward to some major-league umpire-bumping next year!
I’m home in North Hollywood.
On the flight from Dallas to Burbank, I was sitting in front of Lancaster Jethawks manager Wally Backman. I only knew this because he had a conversation with the 10-year-old unaccompanied minor sitting next to him, which included this exchange.
Wally: I had to go to Florida because I got in trouble.
Boy: What did you do?
Wally: I bumped an umpire.
The lesson here is that when you’re the manager of a Class A team, you have to fly coach to your disciplinary hearings.
More about the trip to come.
Dan: No. 6! Nice! Best drag bunter of the ’80s.
Jim: I didn’t realize he was a former Met at the time, because I didn’t recognize the name, and he didn’t go into his whole playing career with the kid (but he did say he had played with Barry Bonds in Pittsburgh in 1990). They talked more about the current state of the Diamondbacks — since the Jethawks are the D-Backs’ Class A team — and the kid’s Little League team.
Now, if he had been sitting next to me, I probably would never have known who he was, because he probably wouldn’t have tried to strike up a conversation with a 29-year-old who was listening to an iPod and reading the in-flight magazine article where Bernie Mac names a bunch of expensive restaurants in Chicago.