Mets likely to give Backman minor-league gig amid staff shakeup

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The Mets will announce a few changes to their coaching staff today, but a more intriguing personnel decision is on deck.

The team now appears willing to give scrappy fan favorite Wally Backman a second chance to return to baseball in a minor-league job. Backman has technically not been given a new position yet, but he's been told they'd like to hire him and have invited him for an interview that is expected to be a formality.

The scrappy Backman was a beloved player from the 1986 championship team whose career was derailed three days after the Diamondbacks hired him to be their manager in November of 2004. The Diamondbacks fired him three days after the New York Times reported that Backman was once arrested for DUI and was also arrested after an altercation at his Oregon home.

The Mets apparently will resist any temptation to immediately add Backman to the major-league staff.

The Mets announced today that bench coach Sandy Alomar Sr. and first base coach Luis Alicea would not be returning to the major-league staff. They also announced that third-base coach Razor Shines and catching instructor Sandy Alomar Jr. would be part of the staff in undetermined roles. Shines will not be back as third-base coach, and the Mets are working on a list now to fill that position. Shines is being kept as he is Jerry Manuel's choice.

Pitching coach Dan Warthen and hitting coach Howard Johnson will remain in their current roles.

The Mets fired a few minor-league coaches recently and have openings to fill there as well.