The San Diego Padres have announced that they have fired manager Bud Black.
Black managed the Padres for nine seasons and had an overall record is 649-713. His tenure lasted as long as it did despite a losing record because he was well-respected and well-trusted by so many people in the game. After all, you usually don’t survive as a manager when team ownership changes or when general managers come and go. Yet Black remained through multiple administrations in San Diego.
Yet this year was different. This year there were much higher expectations than before. The Padres and their new general manager A.J. Preller spent big this offseason and made multiple splash deals including trading for Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Will Myers and Craig Kimbrel and in signing James Shields to a free agent deal. With many expecting the Padres to contend in the NL West or at least contend for a wild card, they’re currently at 32-33 which puts them in third place, six games behind the Dodgers.
Dave Roberts, formerly the Padres’ bench coach, will take over as manager for the time being. He is not being called an interim manager, as the team may actually hire a separate interim manager pending a longer search for a permanent replacement for Black. Roberts just happens to be on hand and can cover.
Roberts sparked a big comeback once upon a time. Padres fans are hoping he can do it again.
The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.
Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:
I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.
In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.
“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”
Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.
For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.