Washington Nationals News: Nats To Hire Bud Black As Next Manager


The Washington Nationals have found their sixth manager in the franchise’s young history. According to James Wagner of the Washington Post, the Nationals will hire former Padres’ manager Bud Black to be their next manager. The hire has not been made official by the team because Major League Baseball does not like when teams announce big news during the World Series.

In his nine seasons as the manager in San Diego, Black had a winning percentage of .477 (649-713). Out of those nine years, he had two winning seasons (2007 and 2010). In 2007, San Diego lost the one game tiebreaker to the Colorado Rockies for the NL West title. Three years later, the Padres finished the season 90-72, but finished in second in the NL West (two games behind the Giants) and second in the Wild Card (one game behind the Braves). Despite missing the playoffs, Black won manager of the year that season.

The search had reportedly come down to two candidates, Black and Dusty Baker, as both received second interviews for the position. However, what probably gave the 58-year-old Black the edge was his reputation of handling a pitching staff and being a good communicator, which is what the Nats need after what happened this season under Matt Williams.

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Black was selected in the 17th round of the 1979 draft by the Seattle Mariners out of San Diego State University. He pitched 15 seasons in the big leagues with Seattle, Kansas City, Cleveland, Toronto, and San Francisco. He was on the 1985 Kansas City Royals team that went on to win the World Series. Black’s best season as a pro in terms of wins came in 1984 when he went 17-12 with a 3.12 ERA and threw eight complete games.

After his playing career ended in 1995, he was an assistant under general manager John Hart in Cleveland and he eventually became the pitching coach for Mike Scioscia in Anaheim in 2000. He was the pitching coach during the 2002 season when the Angels beat Baker’s Giants in the World Series. Black would be hired as the manager of the Padres in 2006. This past season, new Padres’ GM A.J. Preller fired Black after the team started off 32-33.

For this search, the Nats were looking for a candidate that had a lot of experience. While Black doesn’t have a career record over .500, he gets a chance to manage an offense that features this year’s NL MVP favorite, Bryce Harper, a rotation that is led by Max Scherzer, and a farm system where five of its top ten prospects are pitchers (according to MLB Pipeline).

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