"And then all of the sudden I'm in the bullpen. Mentally that's pretty frustrating. Then not only being in the bullpen but just getting, so to speak, 'scrap' work. It's difficult. I was thrown into something that was out of the norm and was expected to do well, apparently. And it was tough to just battle the mental demons inside of just being treated the way that I was."
Let's be honest here. This was on the wall a long time ago, but 2009 could have been avoided. Because Backe deserved better than this. As soon as I get a chance, we'll do a career retrospective, but there was a lot of whining on the part of Backe - some of it justified.
But the whole thing could have been avoided by simply not renewing his contract in December. Backe was moderately healthy, was coming off Tommy John surgery (from which he was rushed back too soon), and that should have been it. Instead he was put through a spring of fighting for SP5. A freak slip off the putching rubber, and it derailed his season, maybe his career.
He was mishandled for six months, and that rests squarely on Ed Wade. I wish him the best, and give him a cap tip. After all, if Cardinals fans hate him, he's alright with me.