Your beat reporter and mine, Corey Brock reports that the Padres will be offering Buddy a contract extension. I'll tell you a story about the time jbox and I met Bud Black at Spring Training. I was prepared to not be impressed by the guy, but I'll tell you what. I was impressed. Very even keeled. Quick to respond and handle himself gracefully. Hunkered when he needed to hunker. Was sly when the situation called for slyness. OK. That's not really so much of a story so much as a description of positive attributes, but I've been up since 3 in the morning.
His positive attributes have been reflected in the way he's managed games since he's been with the Padres. If you're a team that relies on walks and home runs to win games, then managing is easy. Highest OBP up front. Use a formula to determine whether or not to swing. 0-0, 3-0 are Red Light counts. 3-1, 2-1 are Green Light counts. Check the book for other counts. Etc. Don't bother with the steal. Don't bother defending the steal. Both are "low percentage of positive gain" moves. A robot could institute that. Young guys? Pshaw. Play the older veterans. According to formula, unless you're a .500 OBP guy at the AA level, you probably don't deserve to even start in the big leagues.
However, that's not what the team is about and I've come around to the idea that playing for the hit and run, the steal on both offense and defense, taking the extra base, instilling confidence in the young guys, truly playing and aligning defenses and not just shifting the infield over for a power hitter, knowing (like really knowing) how to handle pitchers and get the most out of them. This is Padres Baseball. All of this is Bud Black's game and I'm totally down with that.
Am I convinced that another manager wouldn't have us in first place at this point in the season? Not totally. But I'll take Bud Black over any other manager 7 days out of the week and twice on Tuesdays.
Congratulations Bud! Well deserved!