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Wally Backman to manage New Britain Bees in Atlantic League

Wally Backman's quest to return to Major League Baseball will take a pit stop in the independent Atlantic League this season.

The New Britain Bees announced Thursday that Backman has been hired as the club's second manager.

"Wally Backman is a proven winner," Bees general manager Brad Smith said in a statement. "His ability to instill a winning atmosphere and put an entertaining club on the field are two significant factors in bringing him aboard. We look forward to a successful 2018 season working with Wally and hope everyone joins us in welcoming him to the Central Connecticut community."

Backman, 58, managed in the Mexican Baseball League last season but was fired by the Monclova Acereros after just 42 games.

He resigned as a manager of the New York Mets Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas in 2016 after clashing with the front office and told Newsday in January that a friend in the commissioner's office told him Mets general manager Sandy Alderson was sabotaging his efforts to get another job in the majors.

"There's been a bad roadblock, and I know where it's coming from. In the last phone call I had with Sandy [in September], he said, 'I will do anything I can to help you.' But he is not an honest man. People are telling me, 'Sandy has it in for you. You're being blackballed,'" he told the newspaper then.

Backman had been hired by the Arizona Diamondbacks in November 2004 to manage their major league club but was fired days later after previous arrests and financial issues surfaced. He was a finalist for the Mets' major league managerial opening in 2011 that went to Terry Collins but instead was hired as the skipper of the franchise's Double-A team in Binghamton.

Backham played 14 major league seasons and was a member of the Mets' World Series-winning team in 1986.