Fresh off a sub-.500 season, the Colorado Rockies are reportedly replacing Walt Weiss, who managed the team to no higher than a third-place finish in four years, with Bud Black. Although the hiring has yet to be confirmed, several outlets are reporting based on sources close to the issue. This is fine, I guess.
Black’s 649-713 record over nine years works out to be marginally better percentage-wise than Weiss’s 283-365. Black did propel the Padres all the way up to second place in 2010, for which he won NL Manager of the Year. That also happened to be the same season Black presided over the worst collapse in Padres’ history.
After getting fired mid-season by San Diego in 2015, Black was briefly a beneficiary of front office title inflation with the Angels (where he’d previously been a respected pitching coach) before reportedly rejecting the Nationals’ managerial offer. His undisputed pitching savvy—incidentally, he posted a 3.84 ERA over his 15-year playing career—makes him a decent choice for a Rockies team that is trying to turn a crop of talented young arms into a legitimate pitching staff. Whether Black is up to this task remains to be seen, but he didn’t succeed in making a bad team good in San Diego, and he probably won’t do so in Colorado.
Meanwhile, further down the NL West standings, the Diamondbacks have replaced both their GM and manager with members of the Red Sox front office. After wrapping a sorely disappointing season during which they squandered Zack Greinke, Arizona snagged Princeton-educated Young GM Mike Hazen, who had just ascended to general manager after 11 years with Boston. And just last week, Hazen brought in former Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo to manage.
Seemingly beloved in Boston, Lovullo earned a brief stint as an interim manager in 2015, leading the team to a 28-20 record while John Farrell was on medical leave, but this will be his first full-time managerial position. These moves are good! Importing the head honchos from a winning formula has promise. But, then again, the Diamondbacks still have to contend with Tony La Russa calling some of the shots so: Who you got next year, the Giants or the Dodgers?