Bud Black is doing a masterful job of managing the Padres thus far.
The rookie skipper has made almost all of the right moves and can be praised for two things in particular: his patience and handling of the pitching staff.
Patience was a virtue when Black stuck by rookie third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff while most others wanted him sent to the minors early in the season.
And being a former pitcher and pitching coach, Black has shown he knows how to manage a pitching staff. He certainly deserves much credit for the Padres having the lowest ERA in the major leagues.
Sure, he’s not perfect. He wasted reliever Cla Meredith on an intentional walk Tuesday night because Royce Ring did not have enough time to get warmed up while Greg Maddux was getting battered around in the seventh inning.
But that was an exception.
Black could definitely be considered a frontrunner for Manager of the Year at the halfway point of 2007.