Bud Black used to drive me crazy. Maybe it’s his mild-mannered personality. Or maybe it was because I held him personally responsible for the Padres 10-game losing streak in 2010. You know the one. The streak that put an end to any real chance to make the postseason. And it should be noted, I fully realize, right or wrong, managers get all the blame when the team loses and few of the accolades when they win.
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Particularly troubling, as I watched the end of the 2013 season, Black always had the same expression on his face, regardless of how bad the Padres were losing. It was disconcerting. I started wondering if he was indeed the right man for the job. The more I thought about, the more I was convinced it was time for Black to go.
I entered the 2014 season as optimistic as any long suffering Padres fan could be. Still, I had serious doubts about Bud Black, and even more so when it came to Josh Byrnes. Unfortunately, Byrnes’ blueprint, if you can call it that, is still written all over the team. The Rizzo trade still haunts me, mainly because Cashner seems to pitch only when he feels like it, not to mention that Rizzo was the centerpiece of the Adrian Gonzalez trade. Furthermore, Yonder Alonso (a.k.a. “The Savior”) is at best a below average Major League baseball player. The good news is ,of course, Josh Byrnes was eventually dismissed.
Then came the glorious start to the 2014 San Diego Padres baseball season. After a opening day win against the Dodgers, it was all down hill from there. And this is precisely why Bud Black deserved to come back in 2015. In April, the Padres hit .218 as a team. In May, .239. During June, a robust .171. In July and August, .249. And in September. .231.
Despite that, the Padres were finding ways to win baseball games.
Overall, the Padres finished dead last in the National League in runs (533), hits (1199), doubles (224), total bases (1810) RBI (500), average (.226) OBP (.292), SLG(.342) and OPS (.634).
And again, the Padres continued to find ways to win baseball games. The pitching staff certainly deserves some credit, but so does Petco Park, and I’m not sure which of those two actually deserves the most credit.
Keep in mind that this sorry excuse for a Major League team actually won one more game in 2014 then it did the previous year, which is nothing short of a miracle.
Finally, Black deserves another year because of the way he handled the bullpen. The Padres played 51 one-run games last year; the Padres won 31 of those.
I’m glad he’ll be back and I’m not sure a managerial upgrade (“upgrade” being the key word), with more pitching knowledge is even available.
Welcome back Bud Black.
Bud Black’s Record With San Diego