We learned late last week that Wally Backman will join the Mets coaching staff on Friday to finish out the season. Now there’s a chance that he could remain in the major leagues to begin 2015.
Adam Rubin of ESPN New York was told by a team insider that Backman is “under consideration” to join the coaching staff next season. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has a funny way of blackballing people, huh?
Backman has managed New York’s Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas for the past two seasons and was recently named the PCL Manager of the Year, but he has never held a coaching position in the majors. Of course, he was hired to manage the Diamondbacks following the 2004 season, but he was fired within a week after it was revealed that he had a history that included a domestic violence arrest.
There’s a certain segment of fans who have longed for Backman to be the next Mets manager, but Terry Collins is expected to return in 2015. Still, the chorus figures to grow if Backman is on the major league staff and the Mets get off to a slow start next year. For what it’s worth, Collins told Rubin yesterday that he and Backman “have a very strong relationship.”
MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.
Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.
The entire camp was placed in quarantine.
“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”
Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.
The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.
“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”