Black is the fall guy in San Diego

Man­ager is fired af­ter Padres get off to slow start de­spite am­bi­tious off-sea­son moves.

Los Angeles Times - - BASEBALL - By Bill Shaikin bill.shaikin@latimes.com

The club pres­i­dent took over two years ago. The gen­eral man­ager took over last year. The team blew up its pay­roll and its mi­nor league sys­tem last off-sea­son, in an ef­fort to win now.

So, with the San Diego Padres un­der .500, who got the blame Mon­day? Not the pres­i­dent, not the GM and not the play­ers. The Padres fired Man­ager Bud Black, whose sta­tus had been ten­u­ous ever since the team hired A.J. Preller as GM last sum­mer.

The Padres is­sued a three-sen­tence state­ment Mon­day that made the change ap­pear rushed rather than well-planned. The Padres said bench coach Dave Roberts would man­age the team start­ing Mon­day night, with an im­me­di­ate search start­ing “for an in­terim man­ager for the re­main­der of the 2015 sea­son.”

If the Padres hire another man­ager in 2016, that would be four man­agers in less than a year.

The Padres are ex­pected to con­sider their triple-A man­ager, Pat Mur­phy, for­merly the coach at Ari­zona State. The Mil­wau­kee Brew­ers asked per­mis­sion to hire Mur­phy for their ma­jor league coach­ing staff; the Padres re­fused, even though per­mis­sions for pro­mo­tions in the in­dus­try are granted rou­tinely.

This was Black’s ninth sea­son as Padres man­ager. The Padres have had two win­ning records in that time, with no play­off ap­pear­ances.

Of the three for­mer Mike Scios­cia coaches who started the sea­son as man­agers, two have been fired — Black, and Ron Roenicke of the Brew­ers. Joe Mad­don of the Chicago Cubs is the other.

Be­fore Mon­day, the Pa- dres were 32-33 and six games be­hind the Dodgers in the Na­tional League West. The Padres have played four se­ries against the Dodgers this year, most re­cently over the week­end, and lost two of three games each time.

The Padres are tied with the Dodgers for sec­ond in the league in runs but rank eighth in earned-run av­er­age, de­spite play­ing in pitcher-friendly Petco Park and de­spite off-sea­son moves that fo­cused on im­prov­ing the of­fense.

The play­ers im­ported last off-sea­son in­clude out­field­ers Justin Up­ton (13 home runs, .857 OPS), Matt Kemp (two home runs, .629 OPS) and Wil My­ers (five home runs, .787 OPS), catcher Derek Nor­ris (seven home runs, .756 OPS), third base­man Will Mid­dle­brooks (eight home runs, .648 OPS), starter James Shields (7-0, 3.59 ERA) and closer Craig Kim­brel (16 of 17 in save op­por­tu­ni­ties, 3.60 ERA).

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