Sandy Alderson said Wally Backman will manage Triple-A Las Vegas in 2013, according to the team’s beat reporters on Twitter.
Backman managed Triple-A Buffalo to a 67-76 record and a last place finish in the International League’s North Division in 2012.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
I’m glad to see Wally returning, because I like him being in the family. He did a great job in Buffalo this summer, especially in helping get players ready for Citi Field. The Mets were pleased, but he was clearly never in their plans for Terry’s bench. That said, I wonder what Wally’s thinking, since he obviously wants to be back in the big chair… and there were certainly a handful of job openings this winter… just not with the Mets.
The buzz around Wally had indicated he didn’t want to end up in Vegas. At the same time, as I’ve said before, it’s bad form in baseball circles to turn down an upper-level managerial position (assuming it’s the best offer available), so I’m glad he accepted another chance to manage in Triple-A.
He has a hugely important role next season, because the team’s best young pitching will most likely be with him in a very hitter friendly environment. The way he manages those kids, gets them ready and deals with possible set backs in increased stats and development, will factor in to how future big-league rosters pan out. For instance, Wheeler could get rocked, but it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s any less ready to pitch in Queens. At the same time, Wilmer Flores may see his power numbers double, but it doesn’t mean he’s any more equipped to play on a big-league infield. Also, Wally will be responsible for managing and getting ready talent that will be expected to possibly fly across the country on a whim to help the major-league team. It was already going to be an interesting year in Vegas, but with Wally it should be ever more interesting…