One of the unresolved questions for the New York Mets' coaching staff in the 2014 season was the future of Triple-A Manager Wally Backman. Backman, a popular figure with fans for his role on the 1986 World Champions, has managed the Mets' Triple-A affiliates for the last two years. After the Mets didn't promote him to the major league coaching staff this season, rumors flew that Backman would look for a new job elsewhere. Those fears appear to be for naught, as MetsBlog.com reports that Backman is expected to return in 2014.
Backman managed the Las Vegas 51's this season to an 81-62 record, earning a playoff appearance. The 51's were eliminated in the first round of the Pacific Coast League playoffs, but it was a strong year for Backman. Backman's managerial talents were on full display as the 51's roster changed rapidly throughout the course of the season as many players were shuffled between the Mets and the affiliate.
Sources close to Backman had indicated throughout the season that he was not happy with his current role and wanted to be named to the major league coaching staff. After the Mets didn't give him a September coaching callup and left their staff intact, rumors began to surface that Backman could be a candidate for the Washington Nationals' vacant managerial job. While the news has not become official yet, a Mets source told ESPN New York's Adam Rubin that the franchise expects Backman to return to his post this fall. Retaining Backman would be a good move for the Mets, as he is popular with the fans and could be a logical in house managerial candidate should the Mets choose to change course after the 2014 season.
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