As we reported Oct. 5, it's just about a lock now that former Mets second baseman Wally Backman will be the manager of the Bisons in 2012. That looked to be the case when the Mets promoted 2011 Herd manager Tim Teufel to third-base coach, and the easy assumption was that Backman was coming up from Double-A Binghamton. Mets GM Sandy Alderson even said that to be a likely scenario on a conference call that day.
But Backman started talking to the Washington Nationals and old Mets manager Davey Johnson about a coaching position in the big leagues and the easy move suddenly seemed like it might be in jeopardy.
As it turns out, Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record reports that Johnson himself has recommended Backman take the job in Buffalo. I agree. Backman needs to show he can manage older players if he wants to get the Mets' job someday, or any other one.
There's no word yet on when the Mets will make the hiring official. Teams often do all of their minor-league coaching assignments together and that could take until after the Winter Meetings next month in Dallas.