Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Anger Management 

"Am I happy that these incidents occurred? Of course not. Do they disqualify Wally and the job we have for him? No, I don't think so unless there is other information, factual based information, that we do not know." -- Ken Kendrick, one of the Diamondbacks owners, on news of Wally Backman's various convictions, after Tuesday's meeting with Backman.

[Scene: Executive suite at Bank One, er, Chase, er, Whatever Ballpark, Tuesday afternoon]

Ken Kendrick: So, Wally, in lieu of running an actual background check, we'd just like to ask you if there's anything else you want to share with us.

Wally Backman: Like what?

Jeff Moorad: You know, facts we should be made aware of. Always nice to hear something from our employees before reading about it in the paper, particularly if, you know, it might embarrass the organization.

Backman: Well, uh, let's see.... I like to think I run a pretty @#$!@$ tight ship in my life, so there's little to talk about.

Joe Garagiola, Jr.: OK. Nothing to see here. Thanks for your time.

Kendrick: That's enough of your due diligence, Joe. Really, Wally, anything?

Backman: Well, uh, if you check my Amazon.com wishlist, you'll find that I've been asking for a copy of Mannheim Steamroller's @#$@#! Christmas Collection Box Set for a couple years now, but nobody's loved me enough to buy it for me.

Moorad: Oh, that's not embarrassing to us, that's in your favor... we all loooooove Mannheim Steamroller.

Backman: [Brigthening] Oh, really? Whew. That's a relief. OK... let's see, my TiVo at home is almost completely filled with Little House on the Prairie episodes. You can check it out if you'd like.

Garagiola, Jr.: [In a Melissa Gilbert-induced reverie] Oh, Laura Ingalls Wilder, you'll always...

Kendrick: Ignore him, Wally.

Backman: Well, if you'll track down the December 2000 issue of Cat Fancy magazine, you'll find a letter to the editor from me laced with profanity -- edited out, apparently -- bemoaning their decision to name the minx "Breed of the Year".

Kendrick: That's it?

Backman: That's it, truly. Gentlemen, this has been wonderful. In this follow-up interview I've realized that the reason I'm so "fiery" all the time is that I bottle up my anger and repress my true emotions. Now I know that I need to share my feelings with others. If you'll excuse me now, I need to go give Alex, Scott, and Casey a hug -- they just need some love right now.

Kendrick: I suppose it's too late to...

Moorad: Yes. Yes, it's too late.

[End scene.]


On one radio talk show this morning, some of the blame seemed to be on Backman for not volunteering information on his legal run-ins in his interview. But nothing in the Craig Harris article (notice how they're not letting the beat reporters get anywhere close to this?) suggests that anyone even asked Backman about legal difficulties. They certainly didn't run a background check. And it's always scary when a Diamondbacks forum thread mentions his legal problems before anyone from the D-Backs bothers to ask.

Do Backman's legal difficulties disqualify him for the job in my eyes? The bankruptcy filing I don't really care about -- the other, more serious charges I don't know enough about. Meaning, I don't know the full situation and any extenuating circumstances, and I don't want to comment one way or another. (If he was in fact asked about legal difficulties in his initial interviews and lied about it, that would significantly change my views on the matter.) But I feel that the embarrassment lies with management for not doing its due diligence. I don't know if that blame resides with the new management or with Joe, Jr., but in any case, it's embarrassing all around.

By the way, almost lost in the news is this note that Backman (if he indeed stays onboard) will keep Al Pedrique as third base coach.

Comments: Post a Comment