Every time I’m about to give up on Bud Black, I hear him talk, and I remember why I like him so much. He never gets caught up in the emotion. He is always sensible.
Tuesday morning on the Mighty 1090, Dan Sileo was interviewing Black. Sileo started with the question “What has frustrated you most this year,” and followed up with a question about the fine line between being patient with players and making moves to improve the team. Sileo’s question echoed those of many Padres’ fans, who are growing frustrated with the team’s inability to gain any kind of winning momentum.
For instance, here at FriarsOnBase.com, the current conversation is about whether or not Black and GM Josh Byrnes should be fired. Padres fans everywhere are griping and moaning about the offense, and would like to see some trades, some free agent signings, some sign that the management is paying attention, that they are dissatisfied with the results, that they are willing to make some changes. That’s what Dan Sileo wanted to know this morning.
And then sensible Bud Black responded. After responding to Sileo’s question about frustration with the same thing that’s frustrated all of us – lower offensive production than expected from many individual players, he was very matter-of-fact about roster moves. In order to make moves, he said, you have to have better options. “If you have the best 25 guys in your organization and they’re not playing up to par and there’s nobody to switch them out for, you have to be patient,” Black explained.
And there’s no one to switch them out for. The team doesn’t have any Triple-A players tearing the cover of the ball. Kyle Blanks is gone, and could never hit major league pitching anyway. And Tommy Medica is already in the bigs.
How about at the end of the year? Can we at least dump some guys and hit the free agent market? After looking at the list of players who will be FAs, I’m not optimistic. Tired of Chase Headley? I am. But is Alberto Callaspo a better option? Yuniesky Betancourt? Casey McGehee? A 37-year old Aramis Ramirez? The only available third baseman clearly better than Headley is Pablo Sandoval, and in the unlikely event the Giants don’t resign him, the bidding war will drive his price up sky high. Should the Padres make a play anyway? I’m so over Headley, I’d let him walk and go after Sandoval, then McGehee or Ramirez and whoever’s next down the line until we land one.
But that’s emotion talking. And Bud Black is sensible. It may not be the answer we want to hear, but it always makes sense. He reminds us of the things that we all know, but tend to forget about when we let our emotions get the better of us.
And I like that.