Forget the Brown, Preller Bringing Back the Black


Those who have been calling for the head of Bud Black on a platter, take heart. You will get to enjoy another season of ranting in a loud, angry voice about your least-favorite manager, according to a report from Barry Bloom at

Bloom reports that A.J. Preller, new General Manager of the Padres, will be bringing back Black as manager in 2015.

Although the Padres are completing their eighth consecutive season under Black without having made the playoffs, in spite of finishing with a losing record for the fourth year in a row (barring a season-ending 11-game winning streak), despite the team putting up the worst offensive numbers in a century, Preller has been sufficiently impressed by Black to give him another year at the helm of the Padres.

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And Preller is right. Despite Black’s lack of success in the won-lost columns, his teams have consistently performed better than they should have, given the appalling lack of talent on the Padres.

Black has worked with some of the worst teams in Padres history, and that’s saying something. Except for his initial coaching season in 2007, Black has never had a player in the top 10 in WAR. (Jake Peavy was 9th in 2007.) In four of his eight seasons, no player on the team has had a WAR of over 4.5.

In 38 seasons prior to Black’s arrival, only 12 times has the team failed to have a player with a WAR above 4.5. Black has dealt with that for half of his tenure.

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For some perspective, Ben Zobrist of the Rays has a WAR of 4.6 this year. He’s hitting .269 with 10 homers, 48 RBI, 80 runs, and 9 steals. In fully half of Black’s seasons, he has not had a player as good as Zobrist is this year.

The Padres’ best player this year has been Seth Smith, with a 4.0 WAR. That makes him the 63rd-best player in the major leagues.
And the Padres are 74-81, in third-place, and ahead of Colorado and Arizona in the standings.

Black’s baseball knowledge and even-handed approach are very well-respected in the baseball community. He would certainly be picked up immediately if let go by the Padres.

Preller does not intend to let that happen. He has been most impressed with the fact that the Padres continue to play hard, in spite of not having had a realistic chance at the playoffs since June.

"“You see the fact that the team plays hard every night,” he said. “They’ve definitely taken this thing to the finish line. As a group, they play with energy, they’re coming hard, they’re playing pretty good baseball overall. And I think that’s reflective on the coaching staff and the manager, for sure.”(h/t to Barry Bloom,"

Let’s hope Preller and the owners give Black a team with some talent in 2015. After eight years of working with platoon players and wannabes, Black deserves a chance to win.

And if he still doesn’t, feel free to rant to your heart’s content.

Keep the Faith.