According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Mets officials expect that Wally Backman, who has been managing in the minor leagues for the club since 2010, will be returning to manage Triple-A Las Vegas next season. Writes Rubin:
The Mets have not been asked by any other organization for permission to speak with Wally Backman about a managerial vacancy. So team officials still expect Backman to return as Triple-A Las Vegas manager in 2014, an insider told ESPNNewYork.com.
Rubin notes that while there’s a chance Backman could get a call to interview for a position on a big league coaching staff, the Mets don’t anticipate that happening.
Backman has risen steadily up the minor league managerial ranks since being hired by the Mets prior to the 2010 campaign. He managed the Short-Season A-Ball Cyclones in 2010, Double-A Binghamton in 2011, and Triple-A (Buffalo and Las Vegas) in 2012 and 2013.
Backman continues to be a polarizing figure. There are a large group of fans who want him to eventually take over for Terry Collins, and another group who want anyone but Backman at the helm.
Regardless of what the fans think, Backman has done a very good job since being hired by the Mets four years ago.
It’s no secret that Backman wants to advance to the big league level – either as a coach or manager. He’s yet to be given that opportunity, but will likely jump as soon as he is.
There are those who continuously claim that Sandy Alderson would never hire Backman to manage the Mets. That may be true, but it’s evident that the Mets value him. It’s also not clear how much longer Alderson will be in control – his contract expires after the 2014 campaign (the Mets hold a club option for 2015).
If Backman remains with the Mets, as is expected, there’s always the chance he’ll eventually ascend to the big league managerial chair, whether he’s hired by Alderson or someone else.