Even though the San Diego Padres have just wrapped up their first series in the 2015 season, the pressure on Bud Black to win has never been more evident. He has never been under this much scrutiny, as the Padres have never been expected to perform like they are expected this year. Team that with the fact it is his last year under contract with the Padres and we have a powder keg ready to explode.
In my opinion Black had a rough series in Los Angeles. He made some very questionable calls that only lead to examination of his decision-making abilities. I know it is very early and to judge him this far would be truly unfair. Still every game counts when it is all said and done.
It is no secret that some fans in the city are critical of Black, and that is only natural. The San Diego Padres fans have never had a group of talent like this season to root for. Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Wil Myers, Derek Norris, Will Middlebrooks, James Shields and Craig Kimbrel not only add name value to the team, but they add an expectation to win. That expectation will lead to a microscope being focused right on Bud Black.
There is no excuse for this team to not to win. They have all the talent in the world to go far into the baseball playoffs. The Padres are a team on the rise, and Bud Black needs to show the leadership ability to provide consistent correct decisions. Being a major league manager is a job that is not for the weary. You can drive yourself crazy trying to please everyone. There will never be an agreed evaluation of talent or personal and that fine. That is why I love the game, everybody and their mother has an opinion on the team and a particular player. That makes the game beautiful.
A.J. Preller completely remodeled this team from the front office to the major league talent on the field. The minor league system has been reworked and numerous changes were implemented regarding scouting and evaluation. I find it hard to believe with all those changes everywhere, Preller is not anxious to name a manager he picks himself. This is pure speculation as I don’t know what kind of relationship Bud Black and A.J. Preller have. Still, Preller seems destined to put his own stamp on this franchise and it’s not hard to believe a change at the helm might eventually be in order.
Relax Padres fans, this season is a marathon. The team all in all played well in the opening series. A few miscues on the field and the bullpen getting roughed up are a concern. The bullpen is still solid and once a pecking order is established, Black will have a better idea of whom he can trust.
The defensive miscues are unfortunately something we might have to get used to. It is no secret that this team is lacking defensively, but all the added firepower should off set any defensive issues. At least we hope that is the case.
Bud Black must win and he must win now. The Padres need to start off hot in April as they play 17 of their first 23 games against National League West opponents in the month. Including six games against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
To fall behind early would be catastrophic to Bud Blacks tenure as the Padres manager. Padres players should rally behind their skipper and pull together for a common cause. He has the keys to a shiny new car now, let’s just see what kind of driver he really is.