May 23, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Diego Padres manager Bud Black (20) argues with home plate umpire Cloint Fagan after a play in the eighth inning of the game at Dodger Stadium. Dodgers won 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Padres Week Ahead
The Padres head down to Anaheim Monday following their series against the Dodgers for three against the Angels before back to Petco for 4 against the Pirates. The Angels have been struggling some themselves and like the Padres have all the star power in their lineup you could ask for. Mike Trout and Albert Pujols alone means they should start almost every game with a run or two. Perhaps it will give Bud Black some time to talk with his mentor about how to get through these tough times. After all Bud Black was the bench coach for Mike Scoscia on his 2002 championship team and Mike had some tough years before getting back to the playoffs last year again wrestling the AL West back from the Oakland A’s last season. Yet the fuse is lightly lit on Bud Black’s remaining time. Not even so much because he is doing a “bad” job I would argue, as many people think around Padres nation. Sure, he plays with the lineups a lot, but that is seen as genius when Joe Maddon does it. I would also argue even back to last year’s team that they would not have done so well WITHOUT that mix and matching.
So why is the time now? To start, this is the largest payroll the Padres have ever had. I said it in spring training that no matter what he should be given two months. That time is almost up. He has the talent on the team except for maybe at shortstop. The thought of lead-footed Middlebrooks actually playing there often is appalling, esepcially thinking back to when Everth Cabrera ran out there just last year and made some tremendous plays at the position. After that it comes down to the manger leading his team. Baseball is a mental game in part because of how often you play. Day in, day out and often a player can not get even a hit for days at a time. How they respond to those times and how the manager reacts is crucial. A guy can go a month without hitting a home run, then hit 4 in two days and 3 more in another couple days and all of a sudden they are back “on pace” for a 20 home run season. A manager has to know when that hot streak will come, and when it won’t come. The starting pitching is allowing a lot of home runs. That Bud Black can’t do much about, but how he talks to his team about responding to it is his job. I don’t see anyone except James Shields getting mad about it. I like the fact that Justin Upton got tossed Saturday night, probably in part due to frustration about losing another game by 2 runs or less. The time for a change is now.
Current Record: 21-24
Current Standings: 4th place, 6.0 GB Dodgers in NL West
Weekly Predicted Record: 3-3
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