The San Diego Padres recent struggles have been magnified by the fans and now both the national media and local media are starting to come to the same assumption. The tenure of Bud Black as the Padres manager is coming close to an end.
That could very well be the case as the state of the Padres play has been brutal to watch. Seeing Joaquin Benoit serve up a fastball right down the middle to Joc Pederson on Friday night was horrible to watch. The pitch should have never been located right down the middle and it was. The craziest thing is unlike seasons past, when Padres pitchers make mistakes, the other teams capitalize. Hitting a mid 90’s fastball out of a ball park is not an easy task, even if its right down the middle. Anyone who argues that fact has never played the game at a competitive level.
Could the San Diego Padres be cursed? It can surely feel that way as this team finds new ways to blow games on a nightly basis. Bud Black has to shoulder some of the responsibility. There is no arguing that. I do not hold all the Padres issues on him, but he as the manager of the squad does assume some of the blame. I try not to be couch manager and second guess his every move. However once the ship starts to sink, its only natural to look for a reason. This Padres team has not failed on this season by any means. They can easily turn things around, but the team needs to show life and show it fairly quickly.
For a team to come together and bond quickly is a difficult task. Bud Black has his absolute work cut out for him. Most fans want immediate returns on all these new players and that’s just unlikely. We are presently seeing that. The team can still come together. Sometimes it takes a brawl or fight between teammates. What ever it takes, this team needs it now. The team is very talented, and in my opinion all the constant talk of trades might be getting to them.
The Padres management has been linked to almost every player. From Josh Hamilton to Johnny Cueto to Cole Hamels. It seems if a player is available for trade, the Padres are at least kicking the tires on the player. Could all the talk about potential trades be getting to the players? They are professionals, and things like that should not bother them. These same people are human beings, and if you think it can’t get in their heads then you are naive.
The very same thing could be said about Bud Black and his job security. He is more thank likely feeling the pressure of the expectations of this team. When this team was built, there were obvious issues with the team. Being too right handed, and the teams overall defense are just some things this team will have to deal with. There are no easy fixes for either issue, and that is just a fact.
Bud Black is currently in the final year of his contract to manage the San Diego Padres. It is really unheard of for a manager to be left in limbo without an extension. That really doesn’t bode well for his future if you ask me. If management was truly happy with their skipper they would have extended his contract during the off-season. Instead this season looks to be a make or break season for the manager. It would be tough to see the Padres retain him unless the team makes the playoffs.
So should Bud Black be fired? If you ask people they are either completely for it or completely against it. There really seems to be no middle ground. Some fans point to the teams constant mediocre seasons as a reason. While others see the average seasons and say that he did well to take a talent-less roster to around the .500 mark. In my opinion the truth is in the middle somewhere. You cannot discredit Black for indeed taking teams that were less than talented, to decent seasons. However this team presently has more talent than probably all the Bud Black managed teams put together. If they do not turn it around, he will be fired.
Is it fair to put all the blame on him? No, not at all. But if the team struggles as a whole group, you cannot fire them. Matt Kemp is in a horrible slump, is that Bud Blacks fault? No. However his slump compounded with stagnant defense and horrible relief pitching has brought us to where we are now.
A lot of Padres fans are presently jumping off the band wagon and to them I say farewell. The baseball season is a long, long road. In this day of instant gratification, some fans just cannot deal with losing. The most successful of baseball teams lose 60-70 games a season. Relax Padres fans, if you really believe in this team then you will sit back and enjoy the ride. I for one do not want to see Bud Black leave. If he were to be fired, that would mean the team is falling further out of contention. With the removal of him as manager, the team would be throwing in the towel on the season.
I refuse to think this season is over. I believe in this team too much. I do however concede that even if this season is a failure, the team has a bright future. The future could consist of Bud Black as manager, but if the team truly wants him to stay, they need to play better baseball. If the team plays better, then the Bud Black haters will be silenced. Until then, they have plenty of fuel for the fire. There is nothing that can stop a raging fire once it starts. You just have to try and contain it.