Black, Rockies agree to 3-year extension

February 25th, 2019

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – After leading the Rockies to the postseason in his first two seasons, manager Bud Black and the club agreed to a three-year contract extension, through 2022, on Monday.

Black was entering the final year of his original three-year contract, which called for a mutual option for 2020. Under Black, the Rockies are 178-147 with two postseason berths as a National League Wild Card.

"From the other side, watching the organization, I felt as though when that job opened up, it was a job that I was interested in,” said Black, who managed the Padres from 2007-15. “The Rockies leadership group and their passion and their commitment, what I saw happening in the future was good stuff.”

Last season, the Rockies won 91 games and tied with the Dodgers for the NL West crown after 162 games. Only a 6-0 loss at Dodger Stadium in a tiebreaking extra game separated the Rockies from their first division crown. After winning the NL Wild Card Game, 2-1, against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, the Rockies fell to the Brewers in a three-game sweep in the NL Division Series.

"There’s a consistent kind of calmness to being able to breathe, being able to calm things down in the face of fire or unfortunate events or if things don’t go your way,” Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich said. “There’s a lack of panic. He does a good job of leaning on experience.

"It’s not all about Buddy, so he leans on the people around him, and he leans on the folks that are empowered to do their jobs, and that includes the players. When everybody feels that way, it can calm things down.”

Under Black, a former Major League pitcher, the Rockies have made major strides behind a young starting pitching staff. Other than the 33 starts that Tyler Chatwood (now with the Cubs) made in 2017, no other Rockies pitcher has thrown a single Major League pitch for another club.

In 2018, lefty Kyle Freeland finished fourth in the NL Cy Young race and righty German Marquez set a club strikeout record with 230.

"A lot of guys lean on him for knowledge,” said Freeland, who broke into the Majors in 2017, when Black arrived. “He’s always looking to learn more about us and learn more about the game, and teach us in the right ways.

"He helps you think in a different way, not like a one-way-street kind of way. Think about a hitter or a situation or anything in a game of baseball in a different aspect. Him being able to do that opens more doors mentally to attack hitters, attack this game and be creative on the field.”

Last season’s squad achieved the playoffs despite hitting .256, the lowest batting average in club history.

Star third baseman Nolan Arenado said Black works well with the entire roster.

"He has a pretty good understanding of position players and he’s very open to listening,” Arenado said. "I’ve taken an effort to get to know him, but he’s really taken an effort to get to know me, and how I act and how I react.

"He knows me pretty well and he understands how I feel. He can see me when I’m upset or happy. He knows when he needs to talk to me. Those are the little things managers need to do, and he does a really good job.”

Because the Rockies tend to build from within, Black finds his managing style fits.

"My coaching style is communicative, based on a teaching concept,” Black said. "That’s something I learned long ago, even as a player becoming a veteran player and talking to younger players and getting into coaching. That’s the part I enjoy most, the teaching aspect -- whether it’s on-field fundamentals, the teaching part of the game, it’s daily, and I love that.”