Tag: Bud Black

Bud Black Is Ideal Hire to Manage Up-and-Coming Rockies Back to Contention

You shouldn’t feel sorry for the Colorado Rockies.

They’re too young for that, too new to the MLB landscape. Oh, sure, it’s been 23 years since they became a franchise. But that’s peanuts on the geologic timescale by which clubs like the suddenly liberated Chicago Cubs and still-suffering Cleveland Indians measure their triumph and heartbreak. 

No one—aside from the guy with the threadbare Dante Bichette jerseycares that the Rockies have been to the playoffs only three times, have never won a World Series and haven’t had a winning season since 2010.

Still, Colorado is a team on the rise. And Bud Blackwho was reportedly hired on Sunday as the team’s new manager, per FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, replacing Walt Weiss, who resigned Oct. 3is the right man to lead the Rockies to relevance.

Black’s 649-713 managerial record doesn’t leap off the screen. Consider, however, that all nine of his seasons on the dugout’s top step were spent with the frequently woeful San Diego Padres and their dysfunctional front office.

More tellingly, Black won National League Manager of the Year honors in 2010 and finished among the top five in MOY voting three times. The Padres pitching staff, meanwhile, finished among the top five in the NL in ERA four times on Black’s watch.

Prior to that, he served as pitching coach for the Los Angeles Angels from 2000-2006 and won a ring with the Halos in 2002.

Stretching further back, he won 121 games and posted a 3.84 ERA in 15 big league seasons.

If you’re sensing a pitching-centric theme, you’re on the right track.

The Rockies can score. That’s never their problem. In 2016, Colorado paced the Senior Circuit in runs (845) and OPS (.794). It’s the Coors Field effect, and it’s a fact of life in the Mile High zone, humidors notwithstanding. 

It helps that the Rockies’ lineup is stacked.

Third baseman Nolan Arenado (.294/.362/.570, 41 home runs, 133 RBI) is a whiz with the lumber and the leather and is coming off an MVP-caliber season. 

Second baseman DJ LeMahieu (.348/.416/.495) just won a batting title. Shortstop Trevor Story (.909 OPS, 27 home runs) was squarely in the Rookie of the Year conversation before a thumb injury ended his season in late July. 

Center fielder Charlie Blackmon (.324 average, .933 OPS, 29 home runs) and right fielder Carlos Gonzalez (.298 average, 25 home runs, 100 RBI) give the Rockies two more dangerous bats or valuable trade chips in a thin free-agent market.

The key, as ever, is to get enough pitching to keep the ship afloat. Despite all that offense, Colorado finished 75-87, 16 games out in the NL West.

Rockies pitchers posted a 4.92 ERA last season, third-worst in baseball. There are enough pieces, however, to nudge the needle toward hope.

Tyler Anderson (3.54 ERA, 114.1 innings, 99 strikeouts), Chad Bettis (4.79 ERA, 186 innings, 138 strikeouts), Tyler Chatwood (3.87 ERA, 158 innings, 117 strikeouts) and Jon Gray (4.61 ERA, 168 innings, 185 strikeouts) are all 27 years old or younger and showed flashes in 2016.

Gray, in particular, looks like a possible ace after setting a franchise record with 16 strikeouts against the Padres on Sept. 17.

“I feel like I belong out here this year,” Gray said at the time, per Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. “I told myself, ‘I’m here for a reason, so why not show it off?'”

That confidence should have the Denver faithful thinking happy thoughts, particularly with a proven pitchers’ manager like Black coming into the fold.

“Bud Black knows pitching,” the Denver Post‘s Mark Kiszla opined prior to Black’s hire. “Coors Field begs for a manager with a master’s degree in pitching.”

That’s not to say Black will wave a wand and turn the Rockies’ young starters into world beaters, or that he can magically reform a bullpen that posted an MLB-worst 5.13 ERA.

His selection, however, suggests Colorado is placing emphasis on its greatest area of need. If the Rockies can pitch at even a league-average clip or close to it, they’ll be a serious threat to the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants out West.

Speaking of which, Black’s extensive experience within the division should be a plus, as Rockies play-by-play man Drew Goodman of Root Sports pointed out:

There’s no such thing as a can’t-miss managerial hire. Scores of skippers have looked good on paper only to wilt under the unique pressures of their assignment.

Shepherding the Purple and Black 5,200 feet above sea level is no ordinary assignment. 

From here, though, this is a prudent move.

The Rockies don’t have enough history to be considered long-suffering. Yet, with Black at the helm and bright spots all over the roster, their suffering may end nonetheless.


All statistics courtesy of MLB.com and Baseball-Reference.com.

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Bud Black to Rockies: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

The Colorado Rockies have hired Bud Black as their manager heading into the 2017 season, the club announced Monday.

FanRag Sports’ Tommy Stokke first reported the decision.

Black was the manager of the San Diego Padres from 2007 to 2015, accumulating a 649-713 career record in nine seasons. He was fired during the 2015 season after starting the year with a 32-33 record.

Although Black never led San Diego to the playoffs, he won the 2010 National League Manager of the Year award after helping guide the squad to a 90-72 record.

Padres players were quick to come to Black’s defense after the team relieved him of his duties.

“The way that Buddy ran the ship around here was fine,” pitcher James Shields said at the time, per ESPN.com. “We respect him as a manager and a man. As players, we’ve got to do a better job. It’s up to us as players to figure it out, try not to put blame on anybody.”

According to James Wagner of the Washington Post, the Washington Nationals reportedly intended on hiring Black to become their manager before the 2016 season, but negotiations broke down because of contract concerns. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Washington only offered him a one-year deal worth $1.6 million, which was “considerably lower than he anticipated.”

He instead spent the year working as a member of the Los Angeles Angels front office.

The 59-year-old manager will take over a Rockies team that finished in third place in the NL West with a 75-87 record last season. Former manager Walt Weiss, whose contract was set to expire, stepped down at the end of the year.

Although the Rockies haven’t finished with a winning record in the last six years, hitters such as Nolan Arenado, Carlos Gonzalez and 2016 batting champion DJ LeMahieu provide reason for hope in Colorado if Black can maximize the team’s talent.

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Bud Black to Nationals: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals are talent-laden teams with seemingly unending budgets, each looking to get over the hump and contend for a World Series, and both showed an interest in Bud Black as a potential manager. 

In the end, Bud Black chose to become a National. Per James Wagner of the Washington Post on Wednesday, Washington and the veteran manager “intend” to agree to a contract, as Black will reportedly take over for the fired Matt Williams.

A formal announcement is not expected until after the World Series, as CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Mark Zuckerman noted:

The Nationals made their final decision on Black within the last 48 hours, according to the source, but intend to adhere to Major League Baseball’s longstanding request that clubs not make significant news during the World Series. Thus, a formal announcement and press conference isn’t likely to take place until sometime next week. 

The Nationals were one of baseball’s biggest disappointments in 2015, finishing 83-79 and missing the playoffs despite being considered a World Series contender in spring training. The down season ruined an MVP-level breakout from outfielder Bryce Harper and a successful first year in D.C. for Max Scherzer, Washington’s big offseason signing.   

Most of the blame fell on Williams, who butted heads with his players and lost the clubhouse a year after winning the NL Manager of the Year. The ugliest on-field incident happened when reliever Jonathan Papelbon attempted to choke Harper during a dugout argument, but behind-the-scenes reports painted an even more dysfunctional situation. 

“He’s like the guy in his house who hears a sound, like someone breaking in,” a player told the Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga of Williams. “And his reaction isn’t to take care of the problem or investigate. It’s to put his head under the pillow and hope it goes away.”

Black, 58, spent most of the last nine seasons as the San Diego Padres‘ manager. They fired him in June after the team started 32-33 despite a number of high-profile winter acquisitions. San Diego never made the playoffs under Black, but he did win Manager of the Year honors after a 90-72 campaign in 2010. 

“Very attractive position,” Black said of the Washington job earlier this offseason on SiriusXM MLB Network Radio (h/t Chris Johnson of MASN). “Very good team. A great city. That’s a good one.”

Joe Sheehan of Sports Illustrated said Black should thank the Padres for his ouster:

The Nationals also seriously considered former Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs manager Dusty Baker for the position, per CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman. With a roster filled with veteran talent, it was clear from the outset that the team would hire someone with an extensive resume. 

“We feel that where we’re at in our timetable of winning a championship, we certainly would lean toward someone that has some type of managerial experience, especially at the major league level,” general manager Mike Rizzo said, per Howard Fendrich of the Associated Press. 

It’s worth noting that Williams did not have managerial experience before arriving in Washington. The Nationals were likely looking to steer away from a similar situation following 2015’s troubles. 

Whether Black’s the right man for the job is up for interpretation. It’s a bit strange to hire someone without a single playoff game’s worth of experience to lead your World Series push. Then again, given the massive budgetary difference between San Diego and Washington, this move might finally unleash Black’s true potential as a manager. 


Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter.

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Top 5 Issues the San Diego Padres Need to Address to Turn Things Around

Since getting swept by Joe Torre and the New York Yankees in the 1998 World Series, the San Diego Padres have only played playoff ball twice.

Even on those two occasions that they managed to take an underpaid club and over-perform enough to swing the bats in October, they’ve only been victorious once.

Not since Khalil Greene was making acrobatic plays at shortstop before making the throw to Adrian Gonzalez at first base has this team hung an NL West banner. Eight years later, Greene is five years into his retirement, while Gonzalez finds himself playing baseball up the I-5 with Magic Johnson. Meanwhile, the Friars are still trying to figure this whole baseball thing out and turn things around.

It may take some collective prayers.

It may take a complete overhaul of the League’s hatred for parity by implementing a salary cap 

Either way, read on to find out what this club can do to improve.

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San Diego Padres: The Not-so Lovable Losers of the NL West

I have not had good experiences with fantasy baseball in the past.

First and foremost, I was terrible at it. I would say that I could identify a comfortable 95 percent of current players by name, but that doesn’t mean I know how to fashion them into a successful fantasy franchise.

Your initial instinct is to grab the biggest names you can find. You want the Pujols’s, the Hamiltons, and the Cabreras. But that’s not how it works. It’s all about variety, depth, and value. You want all your bases covered, forgive the awful pun.

It’s more important to have guys who excel in different areas. You need a home-run guy, sure—but not eight of them. You also want a batting average guy, an on-base guy, a steals guy, etc. There are too many factors and I have no patience for that.

It also requires constant attention due to staggered schedules and an overwhelming number of “day-to-day injuries.” There are baseball games every day (excluding the All-Star break) from early April to early October. It is a grueling fantasy season.

It is no secret that I love fantasy football, but baseball is a drastically different monster. Football only has one “round” per week, for 17 weeks. It is much more manageable.

And despite all the stigmas, very few people obsess over it all week long. I check maybe once a day to make sure that Tom Brady still has all his required ligaments or that some Cincinnati Bengal hasn’t been arrested for public indecency. Plus, given the short season, every game is important and players aren’t just going to take a day off on you. I would hardly categorize the schedule as grueling.

But still, I was left with an empty spot where fantasy football usually resides, and I thought maybe baseball was a fitting suitor.

Yes, despite all noted evidence, I considered fantasy baseball in 2012.

But I decided against it in the end, for one reason, which I at least had the foresight to recognize. And that reason currently has a 5-13 record.


I grew up in a small coastal California town called Encinitas, half-an-hour north of downtown San Diego. My allegiances have never strayed from the Chargers in the NFL or the Padres in the MLB. But every man has his limits, and the Padres are fast approaching mine.

I vaguely remember the 1998 World Series, in which the Padres faced the Yankees. I can also vaguely recall not caring all that much. I mean, I was seven years old, yet to reach diehard fan status.

It has been 14 years now, and the Padres have gone from World Series contender to league laughingstock. They won the NL West division in both 2005 and 2006 (perhaps only due to how bad the division was those years, as they won only 82 and 88 games respectively), but lost both times to the Cardinals in the first round of the playoffs.

But at least there had always been stars. There was always one guy who you could point to and say “That’s our best player, that’s who I want to pay to see.”

For a long while it was Mr. Padre himself, Tony Gwynn, and his pursuit of 3,000 hits. Or it was Trevor Hoffman, walking out to “Hells Bells,” lights-out for so many years. In the early 2000s, it was Jake Peavy, the fireballing righty from Mobile, Alabama. And until 2010, it was Adrian Gonzalez, with one of the prettiest swings you will ever see.

These players kept the Padres afloat, even through 66-98 seasons. And now, with the Padres setting a pace that wouldn’t even see them reach 66 wins, that player is…


No Padre with legitimate playing time is batting over .300, and only two players break that mark (barely) even when removing that restriction (Andy Parrino is 7-of-23 for .304, and Chris Denorfia is 9-of-30 for .300).

The only offensive bright spot thus far has been Chase Headley (.293, 4 HR, 13 RBI), who I have seen strike out in big moments too often to get excited about.

They have scored a scant 60 runs and just marked their first two-game win streak of the season, 18 games in. (Thank goodness for the Pirates, who have somehow managed to cross the plate just 30 times in 15 games—if you’re wondering, the record for fewest runs in a season belongs to St. Louis with 372 in 1908, a record the Pirates are on pace to obliterate.)


As far as the pitchers go, Cory Luebke has been pleasantly decent, putting up a 1.16 WHIP and 2.52 ERA in four starts. Plus, he accounts for 40 percent of the team’s wins, so that’s dandy.

Unfortunately, opening day starter Edinson Volquez is already up to a 4.30 ERA and has yet to get a win. Promising up-and-coming Clayton Richard has given up 12 earned runs in 18 innings, and I’m not sure who the other starters are.

I’m honestly not sure if Bud Black knows who they are.

Although they are probably going to overshoot the 6-45 mark I set for them for the first third of the season, all of these wins are meaningless. The Padres organization and the MLB as a whole have deeper-set issues. It goes deeper than just a bad team full of bad players.

It is an organization that doesn’t care about product, and a league that doesn’t care about market discrepancies. Not to make it out to be a conspiracy, it’s not like the league is fixing anything (directly), but I honestly believe that MLB would like to see the same five or six teams in the World Series hunt every year. It’s just best for business.

So this is why you won’t talk me into fantasy baseball: because my connection to the game has already been lost after two weeks. I’m already on the Clippers’ and Kings’ bandwagons—let’s hope I don’t move to LA and start rooting for the Dodgers.

Matt Kemp does have one of those lovable faces, doesn’t he?

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Padres’ Bud Black Wins Manager of the Year, Cincinnati Reds Fans Freak Out

Calm down, Reds fans, just calm down.

On Wednesday, San Diego Padres manager Bud Black was named National League Manager of the Year. Black turned a 75-win club from a year ago into a 90-win team that almost took the NL West crown from the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants.

Black won the vote by just one point over Cincinnati Reds skipper Dusty Baker. Baker led the Reds to a Central Division title and the club’s first postseason trip since 1995.

Cincinnati sports talk radio was ripe with anger after the announcement.

Lance McAlister, host of 700 WLW’s Sports Talk, took his rage to Twitter.

“So the NL manager of year blew a 6.5 game lead on Aug 25… lost 10 in a row… went 14-17 from Sept 1 and missed playoffs,” he said.

First of all, look at what the award really means. Does it give Black and the Padres an extra win or two going into next year? No. Does it diminish the Reds accomplishments during the 2010 season in the slightest? No. Does it matter at all in the grand scheme of things? Absolutely not.

Going into the 2010 campaign, the Padres were largely an afterthought. The only time they were mentioned by analysts at all in the preseason was trying to figure out where stud first baseman Adrian Gonzalez would be traded. They were picked by many experts to finish in the cellar of their division.

The Reds were somewhat of a surprise this past season, but this was clearly a team on the come. They boast a bevy of talented young pitchers and that was before the breakout rookie campaigns of Mike Leake and Travis Wood.

Both the Padres and the Reds benefited from playing in pretty terrible divisions, but the NL Central was a much easier road to the postseason. The Reds tallied 47 wins against the Cubs, Astros and Pirates alone.

I’m not a big believer in MLB managers affecting the game. Sure, there are instances where the manager can help his team, but this is not football where schemes and strategy come into play. The manager sets the lineup and decides when to take out the pitcher. Teams win because their hitters hit and their pitchers get outs.

The Padres ranked 28gth in batting average. The Reds ranked fourth. The Padres ranked 22nd in runs. The Reds ranked fourth.

Granted, the Padres pitching staff performed admirably and Matt Latos emerged as a big-time ace, but by and large, the Reds had a deeper and more consistent starting rotation than San Diego.

Black did more with less. That is what this award is all about. Baker fielded a stronger team in a weaker division. The vote probably should not have been as close as it was.

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San Diego Padres’ Bud Black Wins 2010 Manager of the Year Award

San Diego’s Bud Black won the 2010 National League Manager of the Year award on Wednesday, beating out Cincinnati skipper Dusty Baker by one vote.

Black finished with 104 points, topping the 103 of Baker, who led the Reds to their first playoff appearance since 1995. Bruce Bochy of the World Series champion San Francisco Giants finished third with 30 points, while Atlanta’s Bobby Cox (28 points), Philadelphia’s Charlie Manuel (20) and Houston’s Brad Mills (3) rounded out the voting.

Black won 90 games with a Padres team that many predicted would finish last in the National League West, holding the lead for 131 days before finally giving way to the eventual World Champion Giants on Sept. 25.

Still, the Pads pushed the Giants to the final day of the season before San Francisco’s win finally eliminated San Diego.

Following are five of the top reasons why Black received his first manager of the year honor.

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2010 NL Manager of the Year: B/R Columnists Pick San Diego Padres’ Bud Black

Next week, the Baseball Writers Association of America will begin to unveil its picks for Major League Baseball’s most important end-of-season awards: Rookies of the Year, Managers of the Year, Cy Youngs and Most Valuable Players.

But Bleacher Report’s featured columnists didn’t have the patience to wait for the BBWAA to announce their picks, so we responded with our own mock vote.

With this post, we have reached the end of Week 3 of our 16-part series on the MLB awards.

Yesterday, we looked at the best skippers in the American League, so naturally today is time for the results of our NL Manager of the Year vote.

The top five vote-getters are featured here with commentary from people who chose them. The full list of votes is at the end.

So read on, see how we did and be sure to let us know what we got wrong!

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NL Manager of the Year Prediction: Ranking the Candidates Based on 10 Keys

It is almost time for the baseball awards to be announced. Many fans overlook the value of a good manager. You can look to teams like the Mets and the Marlins that have had turmoil with their managers and see why it is important to have someone who can take control of what is going on. There have been a few managers that have stood out this year.

The candidates include Padres manager Bud Black, Reds manager Dusty Baker, Giants manager Bruce Bochy and Braves manager Bobby Cox who will likely get some votes based on his lifetime achievements.

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MLB 2010 Postseason Awards Predictions That May Happen

Though the 2010 season in Major League Baseball has not quite ended, most fans have an idea of who they think deserves awards to symbolize their excellence this year.

Some votes should be extremely close, while others may not be as close as expected.

Here are my predictions for the 2010 MLB Postseason Awards for debate and perhaps even ridicule by all the experts out there.

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