PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- Bisons manager Wally Backman pretty much confirmed late Sunday afternoon what has been plainly obvious for several weeks: These are the New York Mets' final days as the parent club of the Buffalo Bisons.
Speaking to The News following his team's 4-1 loss to the Pawtucket Red Sox at McCoy Stadium, Backman pulled no punches when asked if he was disappointed he couldn't produce a playoff club in Buffalo. That was probably the only way the Mets could get an extension of their player development contract.
"I would guess that's true," Backman said when asked if he expected the homestand that begins Monday night to be the Mets' final one in Coca-Cola Field. "It's a shame for us, really. Buffalo is a great city but I don't envision us coming back, from the things I've heard from the grapevine."
The Bisons are 62-67 and headed to their third losing season in four years with the Mets. Backman is convinced things would have been different if not for injuries, both in New York and Buffalo. The Bisons have gone through 61 players and 154 roster moves this season.
"If the big club could have stayed injury-free, personally I felt we could have been 30 games over .500," Backman said. "There's no question. We lost a lot of quality players like [Omar] Quintinalla and [Vinny] Rottino. You try to fill in spots but it made it tough."