The New York Mets got some good news on Tuesday with the announcement that Wally Backman would be staying with the organization in 2014 as the manager of their triple-A affiliate. Backman’s return was far from a certainty when the 2013 season ended, and the Mets should consider themselves fortunate that he’s staying in the Mets organization.
Backman has said that he has unfinished business with the Mets organization and would like to stay with them long term. However, he also aspires to be a major league manager and is well qualified to do so, especially after leading the Las Vegas 51s to a division championship in 2013.
Backman would prefer to manage in the big leagues with the Mets, but with Terry Collins getting a contract extension, that doesn’t seem likely in the near future. He would certainly jump at the first big league managerial job offer he gets.
Not only did Backman not get a chance to replace Collins as Mets’ manager this offseason, but no spots on the Mets staff opened up at all for Backman to fill, which made it even more likely that he would leave for a job on a major league coaching staff. But against all odds, Backman is staying with the Mets, which is a huge plus for their minor league system and the entire organization.
Backman is great at working with young players, and even though he covets a more high-profile job, Backman does have a good relationship with Collins. Backman is a huge asset to the organization, and even though the Mets may lose him one of these years, the longer he stays with the organization, the better.
Of course, if things go south with Collins as manager in 2014, it’s good to know that Backman is close by just in case.