Teufel Back – Wally Next?
According to Adam Rubin, Tim Teufel is on the verge of being named the 2010 manager of the AA Binghamton Mets.
In addition, several other former Mets could be returning to the organization:
Wally Backman is expected in New York this week to cement a position as a Single-A skipper, while Mookie Wilson also is in serious dialogue about a minor-league role, perhaps as a roving instructor.
John Stearns, a catcher with the Mets from 1975-84, could be back as well. He is set to part with the Nationals after spending four seasons with that organization, most recently as the Double-A Harrisburg manager. The Mets are looking to generate goodwill and interest by bringing back former players.
Though not one of the team’s stars, Tim Teufel did fit the mold of the rough and tumble, tenacious and fiery ’86 Mets. I like that he’s staying in the system and hopeful that some of his old school attitude will rub off on the organization’s young prospects.
Teufel has experienced mixed results as a minor league manager in terms of wins and losses, but he did a fine job as the skipper of the 2003 Brooklyn Cyclones. That team was successful for two reasons: first, it went 47-28, and second, it produced several future MLBers, including Matt Lindstrom, Brian Bannister, Yusmeiro Petit, and Carlos Muniz. He managed all four of those pitchers at Port St. Lucie the following year, as well as Lastings Milledge, Scott Kazmir, and Justin Huber. He did not manage in 2005-2006 but two of the players on his 2007 Savannah Sand Gnats — Josh Thole and Tobi Stoner — made their MLB debuts in 2009. Yes, you can say he was lucky to have all those players under his guidance — but you can also suggest that his guidance may have had something to do with their eventual success.
I’d love to see Wally Backman and John Stearns hired in similar positions. They may be two of the toughest players ever to wear a Mets uniform, and right now the organization can use that kind of element. “Bad Dude” was instrumental in the development of several future Blue Jays in the early 1990s, and most recently managed in the Washington Nationals system. You already know my stance on Wally Backman.