Wally Backman, Tim Teufel to Return
The New York Mets 1986 second base platoon will reprise their roles for a few weeks this month. Triple AAA Buffalo manager Tim Teufel will join the coaching staff this Friday and will stay until September 18th. From there, his former platoon partner Wally Backman will take his place until the end of the season.
Teufel managed the Bisons to a 61-82 record with three games left at the time of this writing. In fairness to Teufel, he had to patch a lineup together most nights, as several players ticketed to spend all or part of 2011 in with the Bisons ended up as the “Buffalo Soldiers,” getting significant playing for the Mets this year instead due to the rash of injuries in New York. 2011 marked Teufel’s eighth season as a minor league manager, which includes stops at Binghamton and Port St. Lucie.
Backman was a popular choice in some circles to replace Jerry Manuel as Mets Manager after the 2009 season. Instead he landed in Binghamton, where he piloted the B-Mets to a 65-76 record. While some of the unplanned upward player movement that hit the Bisons also impacted The B-Mets, Backman’s team did play much better once second baseman Reese Havens finally got healthy and touted pitching prospects Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia arrived.
For Backman, the return to the big leagues marks the latest chapter in a long road back from his hiring and sudden firing in Arizona back in 2004. He resorted to managing independent league teams such as the South Georgia Peanuts and Joliet Jackhammers until the Mets gave him an opportunity in 2010 with the Brooklyn Cyclones.
Backman and Teufel combined for 193 hits, 38 doubles and a .350 OBP during that championship season in 1986.