Normally I wouldn't note the addition of September coaches to the staff as official jersey issues except in passing but we'll make an exception here for Class AA skipper Wally Backman, who beginning today and continuing through the end of the season will assume Mookie Wilson's duties as first base coach. Wilson departed Metville Saturday as a result of a death in the family.
Backman, you may have noticed, was wearing the appropriate No. 86, and would be the first uniformed staff in a game to wear that number. Buffalo manager Tim Tuefel (who might replace Backman coaching against left-handed managers?) is also in town and wearing No. 81.
Terry Collins, who's done a pretty good job keeping this team in a winning mindset despite frequent violations of his pledge to "play this game the right way," has said he'd like to have his staff back again next year, although there's been speculation that Chip Hale might join Bob Melvin in Oakland. As we said a year ago when Hale was considered for a managerial job with the Mets, his departuire would be leave a palpable void in the third base coaching box, considering some of the clowns who proceeded him. His replacement could be Backman, but maybe not unless the Mets consider a little more security for Collins first.