The Padres have just announced that manager Bud Black has been fired.
Manager Bud Black has been relieved of his duties. pic.twitter.com/OhE7A5dLa2— San Diego Padres (@Padres) June 15, 2015
While the team searches for a new manager, bench coach Dave Roberts will be the interim manager. Black's final record as Padres manager is 649-713 in eight years and change, with only two winning seasons and no playoff appearances. The team's best performance under him came in 2010, when they finished with a 90-72 record, one game out of a playoff spot.
There's no word yet on why he's been let go, with the team sitting just one game under .500 and four games out of the wildcard race with 97 games left to play. There are a whole host of possible reasons. The underperforming pitching staff has been a problem all season long, and brutal slumps from Matt Kemp and Jedd Gyorko on offense have hampered the team on the plate. There may be clubhouse strife, as James Shields was vocally upset about being pulled in the seventh inning yesterday.
James Shields clearly was irked that he was pinch-hit for in the seventh. Bud Black said he thought Shields' velocity was declining.— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) June 15, 2015
Shields: "I feel like I can go 160 pitches every time I go out. But that’s National League baseball right there."— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) June 15, 2015
Or it may just be that the team was going to ditch Black at the end of the season regardless, but they need to make a move now to get the manager they want. Regardless, the fact is that a team in playoff contention has just fired the second-longest serving manager in the National League.