It wasn't exactly a stunning turn of events, but it certainly isn't the great
start the new ownership of the Diamondbacks was hoping for. After passing
on fan favorite Mark Grace, and never even interviewing veteran skipper Jim Leyland, the Diamondbacks hired Wally Backman only to find out about a series of
past legal and financial problems from a New York newspaper.
After the revelations the Diamondbacks pledged their support to Backman,
saying that while they were not aware of the past off field problems they would
stick with their choice.
That support was apparently short lived.
Backman, who has not yet signed his contract, will be fired in a news
conference today at 11:00am in Phoenix. Fellow finalist and former D'Backs
third base coach Bob Melvin is expected to be named the new skipper.
Backman, who pled guilty to an assault charge, was convicted of DUI, and has
filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, seemed to be the Diamondbacks choice as much for
his small asking price as for his resume. After the allegations surfaced
the Diamondbacks front office admitted that criminal and financial background
checks had not been performed, and promised that for such prominent hirings they
would be used in the future.
It would seem the first person subjected to that process would be Melvin.
Neither Backman nor Melvin were available for comment, and the repeated phone
calls to the Diamondbacks front office were not returned.