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Monday, November 16, 2009
Backman lands on feet in Mets' system

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Wally Backman was hired Monday as manager of the New York Mets' Brooklyn Cyclones farm team in the New York-Penn League.

Wally Backman
The Cyclones ventured into the Mets' past to find a new manager. "Brooklyn and Backman were made for each other," GM Steve Cohen said.

A member of the Mets' 1986 World Series championship team, Backman was hired to manage the Arizona Diamondbacks in November 2004. He was fired four days later after The New York Times reported he had been arrested twice and had financial problems.

"I am thrilled and grateful to be coming back to the Mets' organization," Backman said in a statement. "Brooklyn is a major minor league team, and I know the borough's fans are -- like me -- intensely passionate about baseball and about winning."

Backman, who spent nine of 14 major league seasons with the Mets, managed the South Georgia Peanuts of the independent South Coast League in 2007. But he resigned that August following run-ins with umpires and a press box argument with another team's radio announcer. There was also a forfeited game when his team refused to return to the field after a brawl with rival Macon.

He then returned three days later and managed the team to the league title. He managed the Joliet Jackhammers of the Northern League in 2008.

"He has always been a fan favorite in New York, symbolizing the blue-collar work ethic and unbridled dedication to winning that this city -- and particularly this borough -- values above all else in its sports stars," Cyclones general manager Steve Cohen said in a statement. "Brooklyn and Backman were made for each other."