September 3, 2010 / Media / Brooklyn news / Podcast / Ridin’ the Cyclones

Backman meets Mets owner — to talk stadium renovations?! Come on!

for The Brooklyn Paper
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The Mets are in free fall. Everyone is speculating that Cyclones skipper Wally Backman is about to get the top job in Flushing. And sure enough, Mets owner Jeff Wilpon stops by MCU Park on Thursday night for a chat.

And they talk about renovations to the stadium?!

That’s the line that Backman tried to pass off on the cream of the Cyclones press corps — me — after Thursday night’s monsterous win over Vermont in Coney Island.

We couldn’t help but notice Wilpon in the owner’s box at the Boardwalk bandbox all night, so when Backman held his nightly post-game interview, Wilpon’s shadowy presence was first and foremost on my mind.

“Did you talk to Jeff about the Mets managing job?” I asked.

Backman spat out an answer so quickly that it must have been rehearsed — but he stuttered just enough to make it seem that even he couldn’t swallow what he was saying.

“No. No. He came in for some, uh (pause), um, they had to look at some structural stuff, I guess, for the stadium,” he said.

I’d sooner buy that than I’d buy a bridge. So I pressed on, but Backman did, too, gesturing towards the Cyclones’ spokesman Dave Campanaro.

“Isn’t that what they came in here for?” he asked rhetorically of Campanaro, who gamely responded, “Yes.”

“They really did,” Backman added. “They have to add some stuff. That’s what he was here for.”

Add “some stuff”? To a 10-year-old stadium that looks like the day it was christened?

“Doing something different, I guess, yeah,” Backman said.

We moved onto other topics, but I couldn’t help thinking that we’re either going to see Wally Backman in a Met uniform soon, or Jeff Wilpon is going to add a third tier to a Class A ballpark.

I’m betting that the Cyclones don’t need a 10,000-seat stadium — but we all know that the Mets need a new manager, right?

Updated 4:18 pm, December 9, 2010
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