The second coaching vacancy of the 2016 offseason has been filled. Just a few days after the Arizona Diamondbacks hired Torey Lovullo as their new skipper, the Colorado Rockies called on Bud Black to become their new manager. He takes over for Walt Weiss, who resigned at the end of the season. Tommy Stokke of Fan Rag Sports had the news first.
Source: #Rockies will name Bud Black as next manager.
— Tommy Stokke (@StokkeTommy) November 7, 2016
Rockies Hire Bud Black as Manager
The Rockies looked like a playoff team for much of the 2016 season. A young team, led by star shortstop Trevor Story, the Rockies competed for a Wild Card berth until late in the year. Ultimately, they faded down the stretch and came to 75-87 finish, but the pieces for success are in place for Black to work with.
Black is familiar with the NL West. He served as manager of the San Diego Padres from 2007 until part-way through the 2015 season. During his tenure, he accumulated an uninspiring record of 649-713, though he did have some very good years and came within one game of the playoffs twice. In 2007, his team lost a one-game regular season playoff to miss the postseason. Coincidentally, that loss came against the Rockies. In 2010, he won 90 games with San Diego and missed the postseason by just one game. Had the second Wild Card been in place that year, his Padres would have made the playoffs.
Padres General Manager A.J. Preller relieved Black of his duties during the 2015 season. The Padres entered the campaign with high expectations, but started out a mediocre 32-33. As it turned out, Black was hardly the problem, as the team got worse after his departure. Bad contracts and mismanagement in the front office doomed that Padres team, and Black took the blame.
The Rockies could be a good fit for Black. They are filled with youthful talent, and are just on the verge of truly competing. Black has the opportunity to shape this team and put his mark on it. If he can get the players to buy into his message, they could challenge for a Wild Card spot in 2017.