NEW YORK (WFAN) – It’s not Flushing, but hey, chilly Buffalo is still New York.
And for 1986 champion Wally Backman, it’s still the Mets organization.
Backman reportedly had an open door to join his former manager Davey Johnson on the Nationals. That opportunity officially closed on Thursday when Backman was named manager of the Bisons, the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate.
“This is where they want me to come this year, so it’s where I’m going to be,” Backman told Binghamton’s Press & Sun-Bulletin on Tuesday.
Former Buffalo manager Tim Teufel, also an ’86 alum, was promoted to coach third base under Terry Collins during the Mets’ offseason coaching shakeup.
Many Mets fans have been clamoring for the fiery 52-year-old to get his shot in Queens. Backman was a finalist for the Mets’ top job last year after the team fired Jerry Manuel.
Collins eventually beat out Backman, Chip Hale and Bob Melvin. New York exercised Collins’ option for 2013 just before the end of this year’s 77-85 season.
Backman managed the Double-A Binghamton Mets to a 65-75 record in 2011. In 2010, he led the Brooklyn Cyclones (51-24) to the New York-Penn League Championship Series.
Also according to the Press & Sun-Bulletin, the Mets “have not set any timetable” for naming a managerial replacement for the Double-A squad.
“I think (Binghamton) should be real good,” Backman said of his former team. “There’s a good corps of players that are coming to the higher levels, all the way back to the group I had when I was in Brooklyn.”
When will Backman finally get his chance in Flushing? Sound off in the comments below…