|Wally Backman reinstated as manager of the minor league Peanuts|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 10 August 2007 13:29|
Three days after the volatile manager resigned, the independent South Coast League decided Friday that Backman could return to the South Georgia Peanuts.
Backman, who had several run-ins this year, asked for his job after packing his pickup truck, hitching his RV and getting set to drive home to Oregon.
``I think we've fixed all the problems in the past,'' he said. ``And from that, we're going to start over, a new slate.''
The league reinstated him, with a condition: Backman agreed to manage the Peanuts through the 2008 season. He can opt out of his contract only if he gets an offer to coach with a major league-affiliated organization.
``Three days ago, we were firm on our stance of accepting Wally Backman's resignation,'' league CEO Jamie Toole said. On Thursday, ``we received a phone call from Wally during which he expressed genuine regret and remorse with his separation from the South Coast League.''
Backman guided the Peanuts to the SCL's first-half title, and they hold the lead in the second half.
Backman and the SCL have been at odds over several issues this season - resulting in three separate suspensions totaling 14 games.
A sparkplug second baseman for the 1986 World Series champion New York Mets, Backman resigned Tuesday after numerous scrapes with umpires, a press box argument with another team's radio announcer and a forfeit after his team refused to return to the field after a brawl with the rival Macon.
``The way he expressed interest to help the league grow and him making a commitment for 2008, says a lot,'' Toole said. ``There still are a lot of people out there who doubt our league and Web sites that wonder if we're playing in 2008. But we're not only playing, we're excited.''
Backman was a top minor league manager when the Arizona Diamondbacks hired him shortly after the 2004 season. But he was fired four days later after reports surfaced that he had been arrested twice and struggled with financial problems.