Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014 | 1:22 p.m.
The New York Mets announced today that Wally Backman would return as the manager of their Triple-A team in Las Vegas.
Last season, Backman guided the Las Vegas 51s to the Pacific Coast League’s Southern Division title with an 81-63 record. The record was the second-best in the 16-team PCL and just the fourth time in the Las Vegas franchise’s 31-year history it has won 80 or more games.
Backman also managed the Mets' Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo, N.Y., during 2012 before they became affiliated with Las Vegas.
“I’m excited to return to Las Vegas for my second season,” Backman said in a statement. “I’m also excited about the fact that we will have a solid team to start the season and our pitching has the potential to be better than last season (2013). Our players did a good job getting a grip on it quickly in regards to adjusting to the PCL and knowing what the main goal is while playing in Las Vegas.”
Backman played for the Mets from 1980-88 and was the second baseman on their 1986 Wold Series champion team.
Frank Viola, a 20-game winner with the Mets in 1990, was announced today at the 51s’ pitching coach. Viola won 184 big-league games, including 24 in 1988 with the Minnesota Twins.
The team also announced George Greer will be back as the 51s’ hitting coach.