Though Backman, general manager Sandy Alderson and team sources continue to stress that the 56-year-old manager resigned and was not dismissed, reports indicate that there may have been internal pressure for him to do so. Regardless of the cause, Backman says he operated in a manner consistent with what the organization wanted.
That clashed with newspaper reports citing a pattern of defiance in Backman’s behavior. In particular, the Mets were reportedly unhappy with his handling of outfielder Michael Conforto, who did not always start against left-handed pitchers at Las Vegas, and Brandon Nimmo, who did not always lead off.
“One of the biggest things I read yesterday was the defiance thing — that I didn’t do,” Backman said. “Where that came from, I have no idea. They talked about Conforto and Nimmo.
“You know, I did my own homework and pulled up the statistics, which are out there for everybody to see. I had Conforto for 33 games, and he started in 31 of those games. One of those two games, he was sent down and didn’t actually get there until the fourth inning, and he pinch-hit in those two games.
“They said I didn’t use him against left-handed pitching; he was 20-for-41 against left-handed pitching, hit .488 and had three home runs. So whoever put that out there, the source in the system, they lied. … I did nothing but try to help these guys.”
Mostly, though, Backman said he grew upset at his lack of a future in the organization. Though Backman was a finalist for the managerial job that went to Terry Collins after the 2010 season, he never made it to the Mets’ big league staff. The organization passed him over for Tim Teufel as its third-base coach in ’12. The following year, the Mets hired Bob Geren instead of Backman as their bench coach before replacing Geren with Dick Scott last offseason.
“I was ready to wait in the Minors,” Backman told WFAN. “But yes, if [a Major League staff job] had been offered to me, I would have taken it.”
Backman, a fan favorite and member of the 1986 World Series champion Mets, plans to pursue big league opportunities with other clubs.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Source: Mets News / Backman: No ‘future’ with Mets reason for departure