Black excited to be Rockies' new skipper

Ex-pitcher NL Manager of Year in '10; GM Bridich calls it 'proud day' for franchise

November 7th, 2016

DENVER -- Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich introduced Bud Black as the franchise's seventh manager on Monday morning at Coors Field.

The 59-year-old Black, who pitched in the Majors from 1981-95, managed the Padres from 2007-15 and served most recently as a special assistant to Angels general manager Billy Eppler this past season.

Rockies players like what they hear about Black

Black replaces Walt Weiss, who went 283-365 over four seasons, including a third-place finish in the National League West with a record of 75-87 in 2016.

"This franchise, I've seen from its inception, from the other side, for a long time," Black said. "I've seen it up close for the last nine seasons, minus last year. I've watched with a lot of anticipation this young pitching that has come on board. I'm excited about this group of players, this franchise, and where it's headed."

Justice: Black perfect for young Rox club on the rise

Black compiled a record of 649-713 as manager of the Padres. In his first season in San Diego in 2007, the club finished 89-74, losing to the Rockies in a NL Wild Card tiebreaker at Coors Field before Colorado went on to win the NL pennant. Black was named Manager of the Year in '10 after guiding San Diego to a second-place NL West finish at 90-72.

"He's no stranger to the National League West, no stranger to this ballpark and no stranger to some of the rivals we have playing in this division, so it's nice to bring him aboard," Bridich said. "It's a proud day for the Rockies' franchise."

Black was also the Angels' pitching coach for seven seasons, including 2002, when they won the World Series. He is the first former pitcher hired as manager of the Rockies, whose bullpen ranked last in the Majors with a 5.13 ERA last season.

Black expressed excitement about inheriting a young and talented starting rotation that features hard-throwing right-hander --'s No. 33 overall prospect heading into 2016 -- and , who posted a 1.69 road ERA last season.

"I see the game through the pitcher's eyes," Black said. "I was a pitcher, and I see the game that way. It's easier for me to have a conversation with a pitcher about mechanics and mindset that can aid young pitching."

Black said he isn't considering anything unconventional when it comes to strategy in the thin air of Denver.

"Is there a certain style of pitching that works here [at Coors Field]? I don't think so," Black said. "You know what works here? Good pitching, and making pitches and getting outs. That's what we have to do. I don't think we have to change anybody; we have to make guys better -- and these guys are pretty good to start with.

"I like conventional. I think good starting pitching and a solid bullpen works anywhere. I've seen that work across the game, and I think that will work here."

Ringolsby: Black hiring puts Rox on right track

Black also inherits a roster of position players that scored the most runs in the NL last season (845), second in the Majors only to the Red Sox (878). Such a potent offense is something Black didn't have during his managerial tenure in San Diego.

"The players feel it, and they should feel it," Black said. "This is a good group of position players, and I'm excited about that. ... For me, I've seen enough of diving down the line and throwing guys out, I've seen get a base hit to right on a very tough pitch, I've seen hit a leadoff home run. ... Get me their phone numbers; I want to give these guys a call."

Black nearly became the manager of the Nationals last October, but contract negotiations fell through and the club hired Dusty Baker. Instead, he rejoins the NL West a year later, a division he is very familiar with.

"Good things are ahead. There are a couple of teams we've got to chase down, which I think we're going to," Black said. "We're going to do everything we can to get back to where this team was in '07, and that's the World Series. And that's a good thing. I can't wait for that. Because it definitely can happen."