Padres Editorial: 2015 Will Make Or Break Bud Black

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2015 is the make or break season for Bud Black and the San Diego Padres. New GM, A.J. Preller, and ownership have shown this off-season they are ready to make changes at any position. There is no sentimentality any more and it’s about time.

Everyone loves Buddy. Players, ownership, the media, even the long-suffering fans like myself. The feeling all of us on the outside looking in has been that Black is a good manager, has a great influence in the clubhouse, gets the best out of his players, but has not had great players to work with, especially when it comes to hitters.

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Well, ask and you shall receive. Preller has given Black what he has not had in his lineup since Adrian Gonzalez, proven hitters. We’re all familiar with the list by now: Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Wil Myers, Derek Norris, Will Middlebrooks, etc. These are MVP & All-Star sticks.

For seemingly an eternity, Black and the Padres fans have been promised in-house talent. Affordable, young, and home-grown bats and arms that will finally take the Padres back into the playoffs or, dare we dream, the World Series, just like so many other professional clubs we watch in October every year do. Players who not only excel, but absolutely murder Double-A & Triple-A (all the A’s) ball. Then when those players arrive in the big leagues, it’s just more strike outs, fly balls, and grounding into double plays again and again.

Now, when it comes to pitching, Black’s experience as a professional major league pitcher and pitching coach really comes in handy. It’s still a marvel to me how he’s turned non-starters like Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross into potential All-Stars in an increasingly dangerous Padres starting lineup and rotation; even more so with the arrival of James Shields this week.

Jedd Gyorko is a great example of a promising Padres prospect who excelled in the minors with has bat, but tapered off after a full year under Black and the Padres staff. Every season now, it seems like the Padres fire their batting coach, but how long can the Padres ownership keep doing this and not see that something else has to give there too? If Black can’t finally get a winning season out of this lineup, I don’t think he ever will.

Unlike the past few seasons, there is a real excitement in the air. You can feel the itchiness of excitement when you hear people talk about the Friars. Padres fans have been waiting for a long time for a lineup and season with this much potential.

So, with all sincerity, and as a Padres fan…
Good luck, Buddy. All eyes on you.

Next: James Shields Leaves No Doubt About Padres Contention

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