Padres Editorial: What Do We Think of Bud Black?

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You probably have some sort of opinion of San Diego Padres manager, Bud Black, don’t you?

Even though he does all he can in his power to evoke no emotion, either good or bad, you have to feel something towards him.

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You might think he tinkers with the lineup too much. You might think he needs to show more passion. You might say that well, let’s just wait and see what he can do with some actual talent on the squad this season.

After all, with Adrian Gonzalez and bloop singles, he brought this team to the final weekend of contention in 2010. He was a good Trevor Hoffman outing away from the playoffs in 2007 – his first year with San Diego.

Last year, he managed to see the team improve. Despite his starting shortstop getting busted for performance enhancers, his ace Andrew Cashner missing time with injury, and being forced to count on inexperienced pitchers in his rotation like Jesse Hahn and Odrisamer Despaigne. That should count for something, right?

So, when does it all pan out for Bud Black and the San Diego Padres?

Longtime San Diego Union Tribune reporter Kevin Acee tried to get something out of Black in his recent article, asking him about how things might be different this year?

"“Yeah, when you have real power, you just watch it.”Bud Black."

The enthusiasm is just oozing.

Maybe it’s that calm demeanor that makes guys like Bruce Bochy and Bud Black stick around so long in San Diego. Does the fan base care enough to demand otherwise? Where other managers like Bobby Valentine and Ozzie Guillen go high energy and make controversial statements, drawing attention to themselves, the Bud Blacks, Mike Scoscia’s, and Bobby Cox‘s of the world seem to sit back and be content with the world around them. They almost seem disconnected.

Of course Cox could erupt in a second, which led to record setting number of ejection, but for the most part he would sit around just watching the game that he loved. Black isn’t too different, except the ejection part. He’s only been ejected 12 times in his managerial career. Guillen, by contrast, has been tossed 29 times by the umpiring crews of Major League Baseball.

So what does Bud Black say about expectations for 2015, and that the third ownership group of the Padres since became manager finally seems serious about making changes that support winning?

"“It’€™s a different mindset…most years, we feel as though, hey, you never know how a season is going to play out. This season “ we still don’™t know how it’€™s going to play out. But we have expectations that we’re€™ embracing, we’€™re enjoying.”"

If I was the manager, I wouldn’t be shutting up about how excited I was to be managing this crew.

“Finally!” I would be saying, “I’m excited what AJ and the ownership group have brought to the table. I’ve been waiting for this kind of investment on the major league level for eight years!”

Not Buddy though. Mostly fans have been forgiving of a manager who has had just two winning seasons in eight years. A career .476 winning percentage as a manager. He did win the 2010 Manager of the Year Award, but fans also point to the fact that the man he replaced, Bruce Bochy, has gone on to win three World Series in five years since leaving the Padres. Of course Bochy managed the Padres for 12 seasons and only produced five winning seasons; but also got the Padres to the World Series in 1998 and won the NL West twice in 2005 and 2006. Like Black now, he often had to manage on shoestring budgets and move people around to get things done.

Bud Black will remain as he always has, and I for one expect him to be the right man for the job this season. He finally has veterans like Matt Kemp and James Shields, who can provide the necessary intensity when needed. Black should be able to steer the ship toward a championship in San Diego.

If he can’t, I have no doubt that Mike Dee will fire him by the All-Star Break.

What do you guys think? What are your thoughts on Black and your expectations for this season?

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