Padres’ Bud Black well deserving of a contract extension

May 19, 2010; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Diego Padres manager Bud Black (20) before the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Photo via Newscom is reporting that the Padres are on the verge of giving manager Bud Black a three-year contract extension. If that’s the case, then yahoo for Bud Black, yahoo for the Padres and most importantly, yahoo for school.

In case you haven’t seen many San Diego games this year (and if you rely on ESPN for games or highlights, then you haven’t), then you may not fully grasp how important Black has become to the first place Padres. This isn’t a club that puts a lot of runs on the board on a nightly basis (they’re 21st in the league in that category), nor can they wait for one of their big poppers to save them with a home run (they’re 23rd in MLB in dingers) late in games.

But this is a club that relies on pitching, defense and fundamentals. They grasp the idea of the hit and run and more importantly, they know how to execute it. They know how to steal to put themselves in position to score and unlike so many teams in Major League Baseball these days, they’re not afraid to play their younger prospects. (As opposed to signing past-their-prime veterans, watching them hit .220, keeping them in the lineup for three-fourths of the season anyway and then allowing youngsters to play when there’s only a month left in the year.)

And because of Black, they do all of the things mentioned above well and that’s the main reason they find themselves up four games above the Rockies in the NL West. Is that to say that another manager wouldn’t be having the same success? No, but no matter how the young Padres finish this season, Black has put them in the best position to win not only now, but also in the future.

Also, don’t forget that many people thought the Padres would be gearing up to hold a fire sale at this point in the season. But thanks to the Padres’ strong play so far, it’s almost assured that players like Adrian Gonzalez will have the opportunity to make a postseason run in San Diego this season. Thus, in some ways, Black has played a role in keeping Gonzo in San Diego and that alone should have Padre fans elated that the club is keeping the skipper around for next few years. (Even if Gonzo is dealt this offseason after the Padres make a postseason run this year.)

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