Thursday, November 18, 2010

Longview native Bud Black wins NL manager of the year

By Kshell

Not every day you can see someone from your hometown take down a Major League postseason award. On Wednesday November 17th, Longview native Bud Black won the National League manager of the year award for 2010. The former Mark Morris Monarch capture the award after leading the San Diego Padres to a surprising 90 wins in 2010. Black who was on the hot seat heading into the season saw his Padres in first place in the division for much of the season as they competed for a playoff spot until the very last day of the regular season. Black has now won a World Series and now manager of the year award.

This is your classic local guy from small community who happens to make it big. When a guy makes it big from Seattle or Portland he is one of many to do that. When a guy makes it big from a small community such as Longview he is idolized. Black graduated from Mark Morris High School in 1975 then proceeded to enroll at Lower Columbia College which is a community college in Longview, Washington. After his two year stint with the Red Devils Black continued his journey towards the Major Leagues by playing at San Diego State. Then on September 5th, 1981 as a September call up Black made his major league debut for the hometown Seattle Mariners. That would be the only season Black would pitch for Seattle as he moved on to the Kansas City Royals who had reached the World Series in 1980.

While in Kansas City Black enjoyed some success. In 1984 Black help lead the Kansas City Royals to an American League West title with a 17-12 record with a 3.12 ERA and led the American League that season with a league low 1.12 WHIP while pitching 257 innings. He would also add 4.5 WAR which is wins above replacement level. That was definately Black's best season in the major leagues. The following year Black who would pitch in a World Series game was part of the 1985 World Series Champions Kansas City Royals. Black in the American League Championship series would sport a 1.69 ERA. Black would pitch for the Royals from 1982-1988 posting a record of 56-57 with a 3.73 ERA with a whip of 1.25 and 10 saves. Black would finish his career pitching for the Cleveland Indians, Toronto Blue Jays, San Francisco Giants then end his career with the Cleveland Indians. For his career Black was a very respectable 121-116 with a 3.84 ERA with a 1.26 WHIP and 11 saves. That set up Black's next career move which saw Black become a pitching coach.

When Black became the pitching coach down in Anaheim for Mike Scioscia the Angels hadn't made the playoffs since 1986. Black was pitching coach in Anaheim from 2000-06 which saw the Angels win the World Series in 2002, win the AL division title in 2004 and 2005. The Angels pitching coach was a young up and coming coach who would finally have an opportunity to manage. After Black lost out to Bruce Bochy on the Giants job he took over for Bochy for the Padres in 2007.

During that 2007 season the Padres season ended in controversy. The Padres lost in extra innings in a one game wild card playoff to the Colorado Rockies where Matt Holliday supposedly scored the winning run. I still don't think he scored on that play which propelled the Rockies to the World Series. The next two seasons for Black saw the Padres struggle losing 99 games in 2008 and then losing 87 more in 2009. Heading into this season of 2010 the Padres were an after thought.

Despite the Padres low payroll and an anemic offense surprised everyone in baseball this season. The Padres who were expected to be sellers at the trade deadline this season were actually in first place. The Padres collapsed late in the season and lost the division title on the last day to the San Francisco Giants who went on to win the World Series. Black has been so close to tasting huge success in San Diego when twice now he has been eliminated on the last day of the season to teams who went to the World Series. His consolation prize is the very prestigious manager of the year award.

All in all, citizens of Longview should be proud of Bud Black. This community lately hasn't had much to be happy about lately so it is good to see a hometown guy enjoy such success. Black becomes just the third full-time pitcher to win Manager of the year award in the National League. Larry Dieker and hall of fame manager Tommy Lasorda were the only two. Congrats to Bud Black everyone here in Cowlitz County is proud of you.

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