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Are the Padres going to fire manager Bud Black?

May 23, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

Bud Black Getty Getty Images

Bud Black hasn’t managed the Padres to a winning record since 2010 and the team is off to a 21-27 start this season, leading to speculation that he may not be long for the job.

San Diego Union Tribune columnist Kevin Acee writes that he’s “getting the distinct impression” Black’s job is in jeopardy, noting that the Padres’ upper management is “steamed at all the losing” after raising payroll significantly.

This would be the Padres’ seventh straight season without a playoff appearance under Black, who has a 561-622 record and .474 winning percentage overall. Acee makes it clear that he’s just speculating rather than reporting an imminent firing, but he obviously believes at the very least Black won’t last another season unless there’s a dramatic turnaround soon.

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  1. xpensivewinos - May 23, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    Not the world’s biggest Bud Black fan, but if Padres ownership and or anyone in charge of that team thinks they’ve spent their money wisely over the past few years, they’re all smoking crack.

    Is it Bud Black’s fault the front office was dumb enough to sign Carlos Quentin (an injury-prone, one dimensional player) to a 27 million dollar contract? What about that other injured stiff Maybin, or giving Josh Johnson 8 million bucks to never play for the team. The list goes on and on and that doesn’t even include the entire roster of 4-A players they’ve assembled via draft and/or trade.

    The Padres “baseball people” are mind-numbingly incompetent. That is not Bud Black’s fault. A monkey throwing darts at a board could have assembled a better team…………..and a lineup of monkeys would certainly score more runs.

    • bronco58lb - May 23, 2014 at 10:31 AM

      Even with the Padres’ “deep farm system”, the minors are devoid of blue chip prospects.

      That’s the saddest part about the Padres, they can’t even produce a must see player or pitcher for the fans to watch.

      At least lowly Miami with Jeffrey Loria has Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez to draw fans. I would even argue that Christian Yelich is more interesting than anybody on the Padres.

    • dan1111 - May 23, 2014 at 10:32 AM

      I agree that it’s not Black’s fault, but I also think you’re being a bit harsh on the Padres’ management. All three of those contracts were lower-cost signings that had upside. Unfortunately, they just didn’t work out.

      • bronco58lb - May 23, 2014 at 10:39 AM

        The Padres have extended four pre-arb players in the Josh Byrnes era —- Maybin, Nick Hundley, Cory Luebke, and Jedd Gyorko —- which one could argue was smart business.

        But then the Padres squabble with Andrew Cashner, who is as talented as anybody on their roster, over a measly $130K difference and take him to arbitration when the lawyer fees were probably around $60-80K alone.

      • paperlions - May 23, 2014 at 10:52 AM

        I think the point is that just because they spent more money, doesn’t mean it it the manager’s fault that things aren’t working out. If they raised payroll by about $30M, but most of that was Johnson, Quentin, Maybin, and Gyorko…..well, those guys have been hurt or sucked….and it isn’t like Maybin or Gyorko were must extend guys that projected to be better than league average…..league average was probably about the ceiling for each of them.

      • Old Gator - May 23, 2014 at 11:05 AM

        @bronco – well yeah, if you had an all-star team to trade away just as the players became arbitration eligible, you could keep restocking the system with EYPs year in and year out too. So the Feesh keep producing stars who titillate the fans for a few years and then head orf into the sunset to find their fame and ripen into the fullness of their potential somewhere else. The Feesh haven’t sniffed the postseason in eleven years, since the Scrooge McLoria brainstem trust took the prior year’s Dave Dombrowski-constructed team, featuring the lightning in Pudge’s bottle which the since guillotined Larry Beinfest captured, to the series.

        Trust me, it gets old.

      • asimonetti88 - May 23, 2014 at 11:28 AM

        I’m a Gyorko fan. By no means is he ever going to be a star but I think he has potential to be a solid piece on the team. But the contract they gave him was probably a bit big. They needed to lock up Cashner. He’s a stud.

    • wtfromsd - May 23, 2014 at 11:45 AM

      the front office is too busy calling the local AM sports Radio stations.

  2. lanzurrah - May 23, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    They should be looking at firing Byrnes and that inept front office.

    • gbrim - May 23, 2014 at 11:09 AM

      Who won the GM ‘trade’ between the Padres and DBacks (Byrnes and Towers)? Answer– both teams lost in epic fashion. There must be some unknown baseball guys who are neither ‘geniuses’ nor ‘gritty’, but know baseball and can work within a small-market budget.

  3. icanspeel - May 23, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    I’d start with Josh Byrnes. He has made some good deals, but also struck out on building a solid team. Bud Black doesn’t employ a different lineup everyday because he is bored, he tries to play the matchup game since no one on the team is a true #3 or #4 or even #5 hitter. Seth Smith has been awesome this year, but when Seth Smith is your star player, it makes you realize how terrible the players around him have been.

    • vanmorrissey - May 23, 2014 at 11:41 AM

      RIght on speel, right on.

  4. dowhatifeellike - May 23, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    Why would they fire him? There aren’t any miracle-working managers sitting by the phone right now. Making a change just to make a change is dumb.

    • Old Gator - May 23, 2014 at 11:10 AM

      If they replace Byrnes with the über-available Larry Beinfest and give him the same budget to work with that they’ve given their current crop of B-students, I guarantee you that within a few years they’d be slugging it out toe to toe with anybody all the way up and down the sunset side.

    • vanmorrissey - May 23, 2014 at 11:41 AM

      Fire him sets him free ala Bochy. Go to a team that knows what it’s doing and has more $$, presto, World Series wins! Love Bud, just love the man. Class act but he has to try and squeeze blood out of a rock for this offense year after year. And it ain’t the park, moving the fences in, whatever. See what a new Padre Seth Smith is doing this year. It’s what he’s been dealt with. A farm system left decrepit under Kevin Towers and previous owners who would not spend money or deal with certain agents limited them to ‘signable’ draft choices (i.e. affordable but not neccessarily any good). They’ve started turning it around with new owners but he’s been left with a mess of a lineup. Good Luck Bud, you deserve better than this mess.

  5. xpensivewinos - May 23, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    I agree that it’s not Black’s fault, but I also think you’re being a bit harsh on the Padres’ management. All three of those contracts were lower-cost signings that had upside. Unfortunately, they just didn’t work out.
    ——————————————————————————————————————————
    When not one of those deals works out, that’s an indictment on the ability of the baseball people to identify talent. The average fan could see the were spending their money on garbage.

    The entire roster from top to bottom is awful………….and boring.

    You don’t need to take my word for it. The tens of thousands of empty seats every night says it all.

    • dan1111 - May 23, 2014 at 11:16 AM

      “The average fan could see the were spending their money on garbage.”

      In Carlos Quentin they signed an outfielder with a 117 career OPS+ to a four year deal at under $10 million per year. He had some injury questions, but they got him at a below-market rate because of that. His knee injury has gone just about as badly as it could go.

      In Cameron Maybin, they locked up a player coming off a solid offensive and very good defensive season for a mere $25 million over five years. He didn’t have a history of injury at the time they signed him. Even after losing a whole season to injury, he is a good bet to be worth his contract.

      Neither of these players looked like “garbage” at the time of signing, and I doubt that anyone was even saying that. Josh Johnson is a slightly different case, since he was coming off a terrible season and was much higher risk. There was a good chance he wouldn’t pan out, and plenty of people were predicting that. Nevertheless, the Padres bought a chance of having one of the majors’ best starters for $8 million. It is the kind of signing that is more likely to not pan out, but if it does pan out, it could push your team over the top. It doesn’t look dumb to me.

  6. 9foldmuse - May 23, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    As a Giants fan, I don’t have an intimate appreciation of the front-office dysfunction down there, whether it’s Towers or Byrnes or anyone else; but it seems they are always dealing from a weak position because other teams know the Pads’ payroll constraints and subsequently lowball them in trades for impending free-agents. That’s certainly not Black’s fault but you can argue the September 2010 collapse DID have something to do with him.

    • icanspeel - May 23, 2014 at 11:00 AM

      As a Giants fan I bet you were glad when the Padres ran Bruce Bochy out of San Diego into the arms of the Giants front office.

      • 9foldmuse - May 23, 2014 at 11:17 AM

        Amen! I can’t imagine what trespass that wonderful hulk-headed lug could have perpetrated upon the Padre’s pooh-bahs to be so ungraciously dismissed. The Gintz just about broke the sound barrier signing him.

      • gloccamorra - May 23, 2014 at 11:13 PM

        9foldmuse, FYI, Bochy ran afoul of the “smartest man in baseball”, Sandy Alderson, who was miffed that Bochy played his veterans in the 2006 postseason. In particular, the best Padre starter in the second half was Clay Hensley, and Bochy chose to go with David Wells in a playoff game.

        Bochy still had a year on his contract, but Sandy told him he could look around for his next job, and when Bochy found the Giants, Sandy released him from the last year of the contract without a second thought. That might tell you more about Alderson than Bochy (poor Mets fans).

      • 9foldmuse - May 24, 2014 at 1:54 AM

        I recall sometime in the 80’s Alderson muttering under his breath with a bullhorn that his prime ambition was to “run the Giants out of town”, and indeed he ran roughshod over the Gintz in ’89 but his myopia ran afoul of the Dodgers and the Reds on either side of that Pyhrric victory. Well educated fool.

  7. 1981titan - May 23, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    As an Angels fan, PLEASE SEND BUD BLACK back to the ANGELS. We need him as our pitching coach. His replacement has been horrible. He never knows who can contribute by April 1 and doesn’t figure it out until mid-May, when they have been 10 games back. This year being the exception in that the offense has ket them in the race.

  8. wtfromsd - May 23, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    I wonder what Tony LaRussa would do if he came to the Padres instead of the Snakes.

    I would promote Bud Black upstairs
    And look for a fire and brimstone manager.. like Dick Williams…whose been there and done it.

    • wtfromsd - May 23, 2014 at 11:53 AM

      my other suggestion… Tim Flannery

      • hoopmatch - May 23, 2014 at 2:25 PM

        Yeah, because Dick Williams is dead.

      • mazblast - May 26, 2014 at 1:07 AM

        My brother, who lives in SD, loves to tell this story–

        Flannery was being interviewed during an East Coast swing. Flannery’s wife had flown in to travel with him, and Flannery told the interviewer that they were going to take advantage of an upcoming off day during the trip to watch the sun go down over the Atlantic.

    • gloccamorra - May 23, 2014 at 11:18 PM

      Even if Williams (the only Padres manager to never have a losing season) were still alive, he wouldn’t take it. He was on record as saying the players today wouldn’t be able to handle his managing style, i.e., the front office wouldn’t back him up.

      To give you an idea, Tony Gwynn said “Williams had his own little way of telling you you did something wrong – he’d come up to you in the dugout and scream in your face.” Imagine the loss of self-esteem!

  9. xpensivewinos - May 23, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    “The average fan could see the were spending their money on garbage.”

    In Carlos Quentin they signed an outfielder with a 117 career OPS+ to a four year deal at under $10 million per year. He had some injury questions, but they got him at a below-market rate because of that. His knee injury has gone just about as badly as it could go.

    In Cameron Maybin, they locked up a player coming off a solid offensive and very good defensive season for a mere $25 million over five years. He didn’t have a history of injury at the time they signed him. Even after losing a whole season to injury, he is a good bet to be worth his contract.

    Neither of these players looked like “garbage” at the time of signing, and I doubt that anyone was even saying that. Josh Johnson is a slightly different case, since he was coming off a terrible season and was much higher risk. There was a good chance he wouldn’t pan out, and plenty of people were predicting that. Nevertheless, the Padres bought a chance of having one of the majors’ best starters for $8 million. It is the kind of signing that is more likely to not pan out, but if it does pan out, it could push your team over the top. It doesn’t look dumb to me.
    ————————————————————————————————————————————————-
    Uhhhhhhh, none of it has worked out. It’s now fact, not conjecture.

    How can it not look dumb to you after it’s been proven that it was dumb?!?!?!?!?!!?

  10. xpensivewinos - May 23, 2014 at 12:08 PM

    Is this a HBT record for the most people commenting on a Padres-related story?

    • jimeejohnson - May 23, 2014 at 1:02 PM

      Nope.

    • gloccamorra - May 23, 2014 at 11:30 PM

      The Quentin-Greinke story last year had to be the record. It was 99% pro-Greinke back then, but there may have been a re-assessment or two since.

  11. chargrz - May 23, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    Why fire Black? He did not assemble a team of minor league talent.The Padres are horrible at drafting and building thru their farm system. Over the last 20 years very few players that were drafted by the Padres have ever made it up to the majors and those who have had limited success. The ownership of past and present have never spent to build a quality scouting dept. and it shows on the field. The Padres are last in scoring and batting avg. The pitching has been good enough to win if they had some offense but Byrnes would not know a hitter if Barry Bonds and Ted Williams were in front of him.If they want to fire someone then fire Byrnes and clean house in the scouting as they have been a complete failure. The Padres play in a beautiful stadium that charges major league prices and gives fans a minor league product. Year in and year out.

    • gloccamorra - May 23, 2014 at 11:38 PM

      If Byrnes got a Ted Williams, would Black play him? They called up big Kyle Blanks, and he got into a game against a lefty pitcher – for two at-bats. When the lefty was replaced with a righty, Blanks was pulled and replaced with lefty swinger Alonso. Bud plays lefty-righty matchups all day like they’re all interchangeable platoon players. I can see a couple owners getting perturbed about that.

  12. hoopmatch - May 23, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    Best thing about the Padres nowadays is Dick Enberg on TV broadcasts. Oh my!

    • gloccamorra - May 23, 2014 at 11:26 PM

      I can get the Padres-Cubs on cable, and Enberg is interviewing Steve Garvey, who is wearing a Padres ’84 jersey! Garvey worked for the O’Malleys who now own the Padres – a harbinger?

  13. RM - May 23, 2014 at 4:09 PM

    Should the Padres fire Bud Black, I would probably expect either bench coach Dave Roberts or third-base coach Glenn Hoffman to serve as interim manager. Your thoughts?

    • gloccamorra - May 23, 2014 at 11:24 PM

      Bud Black and Josh Byrnes go back together as rookie scouts for Cleveland in ’96. Chances are, they’d both get the axe at once, so Roberts might be the guy, since Hoffman managed the Dodgers and had his fill of it – he didn’t even want to be the bench coach when the job came up last year.

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