Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bud “Contract Year” Black Cashes In

In case you've been concerned in regards to the whereabout of the authors of this blog, fear not, we have not died in a boating accident or absconded the with considerable fortunes accrued from maintaining this site to search for traces of the last expedition of Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett in the jungles of the Amazon.

However, Matt is at a conference for work and I have been tied up with some obligations of my own during the work week that have been keeping me away from the computer. And when the weekends roll around, both of us have been trying to enjoy our respective summers to the fullest, which leaves little time for writing things on the internet. We'll be back pretty soon, but the content is going to be a little sparse for the next couple of days.

Luckily, a long time commenter who would like to be identified simply as "Marmaduke Ramirez Washington" was kind enough to submit a guest post. It's not about the Yankees, but I think you'll still enjoy it. Take it away, 'Duke:

Following in the steps Vernon Wells, Kevin Brown and every other player that happened to have the best season of their life in their contract year, Bud Black received a 3 year extension to manage the San Diego Padres on Monday. After 2 years of leading his team to winning percentages of .389 and .463, Black has the Padres 17 games over .500 and in first place in the NL West.

Obviously he is putting a lot more effort into his managerial duties this year as opposed to the 2 previous seasons. The question is, “Why didn’t he try harder to make San Diego a winning franchise in 2008 and 2009?” Some baseball insiders think that Black saw a wide open free agent market for managers during the 2010 off-season prompting him to take his position as a manager much more seriously this year.

While not confirmed, rumors have been surfacing that Black took courses in “Advanced Statistics 101” and “Manage a Winning Sports Franchise on a Shoestring Budget 1a and 1b” at San Diego’s Mesa College during the winter. Other sources indicate that he attended a National League managers' convention during the offseason, which included a two day seminar on the double switch, because there’s obviously much more to it than checking who recently batted, moving the new pitcher to that spot in the order while inserting a new position player into the previous pitcher’s spot in the order.

One unemployed manager who wishes to remain anonymous is also questioning whether or not Black is taking performance enhancing drugs to gain an edge over other managers in the NL West. “How many 53 year old mangers have taken a team that has perpetually been in the bottom of the National League under his own watch and now, all of a sudden, they have the best record in the league? I’m telling you, that kind of improvement out of nowhere can only be the results of using copious amounts of PEDs - HGH, hGC, Adderall, Ritalin, whatever it is.”

He also added, “Have you seen the size of his head?” [Ed. note: The source may have been confusing Black with the previous Padres, and current Giants manager Bruce Bochy who reportedly wears a size 8 ¾ hat.]

Some people inside the game feel that Black has finally come into his own as a manager after years of limited success and is really stepping it up when the money is on the line. But is there more to his success than meets the eye?

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