PEORIA, AZ: Starting pitcher Tim Stauffer #46 of the San Diego Padres leaves the mound after being removed by manager Bud Black during the spring training game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Peoria Stadium in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
There are some odds out of Las Vegas suggesting that Bud Black's an excellent candidate to be let go. I don't quite see it, but I could be missing something.
This is a feature occupying the top spot on the page, and it's about the San Diego Padres. The previous feature that occupied the top spot on the page was about the San Diego Padres. I hope that you're really interested in the San Diego Padres, or in things that occupy top spots.
There was something that made the Internet rounds earlier Tuesday. It went from bloggers to journalists or from journalists to bloggers, and now it's our turn to weigh in. That something? Vegas odds on which MLB manager will be the first to get fired. You can do anything in Las Vegas, literally anything, and among those things is betting on baseball managers getting sacked. I wish we used "sacked" more. Anyway, said odds:
Bud Black, Padres 3/1
Dusty Baker, 11/2
Buck Showalter, 6/1
Ron Gardenhire, 6/1
Jim Tracy, 9/1
Charlie Manuel, 10/1
Joe Girardi, 10/1
Bruce Bochy, 10/1
Mike Scioscia, 12/1
To be perfectly honest with you, even though he's at the bottom, the first thing that stands out to me is the inclusion of Mike Scioscia. That's not just because I'm seeing the bottom of that list first as I'm writing this sentence. It's also because it's impossible for me to imagine the Angels existing without Mike Scioscia at the helm. I know that the Angels used to exist without Scioscia for a while, but then Scioscia came in and became a huge part of the Angels' identity. There were rumors over the offseason that Scioscia's practically an influential member of the front office. How could Scioscia get canned? Even given all the expectations, how could Scioscia get canned?
After Scioscia, though, the guy I notice is Bud Black. According to this source - Bovada Sports Book - Black has the greatest odds of being fired in baseball. I admit that I don't have any inside knowledge as far as the Padres are concerned, but that doesn't sound right to me.
For one thing, the Padres had Bruce Bochy from 1995-2006, and have apparently had Black from 2007 to the present. The Padres are not the first organization that comes to mind when you think of managerial changes. Sure, they used to have something of a revolving door back in the day, but they've had three managers since Bryce Harper was born. With the Padres, assume inactivity.
For another thing, I think the Padres are poised to surprise. When I look at the depth chart, I don't see a playoff team, but I see a decent team, and a decent team with a hell of an assortment of reinforcements in the minors. These projections have the Padres improving from 2011. They have a shot at .500. Black won the National League Manager of the Year award in 2010, and I think if the 2012 team plays competitive baseball, he'll be allowed to stay in charge.
Then there's the matter of the ownership instability, so you wonder who would pull the trigger to let Black go. And there's not a whole lot of pressure in San Diego, or fans to placate, and Black survived the hiring of a new general manager. It's obviously not impossible that Black could get fired, like if the Padres open 0-20, but I don't think it's in the cards.
Of course, these aren't predictions - these are Vegas odds, which work differently. I'd be tempted to put money on Dusty Baker, myself, given all the attention the Reds have received and given the possibility that they come apart. I'm a little surprised that I'm not seeing Bobby Valentine on there anywhere, just because of the explosive potential. Not sure what Jim Tracy is doing on there at all since he and the Rockies exchanged promise rings. Tracy's part of the family now. You can't fire family. You can ignore family, you can give family the cold shoulder, you can passive-aggressively fail to invite family to a wedding, but you can't fire family.
I wonder if Brad Mills pays off if he fires himself. This would be different from a resignation. Way more animated and loud.
Mills: That's it!
Mills: We gave you an opportunity, and now we've decided to go in another direction.
Mills: Thank you for your service, and we wish you the best.
Mills: You can't fire me!
Mills: I put my blood, sweat, and tears into this team!
Mills: I gave it everything that I had!
Mills: And yet it wasn't enough. Thank you very much, again.
Mills: There is the door.
Mills: /leaves in a huff
So, Vegas odds about managerial firings. For a number of reasons, I don't recommend that you bet on Bud Black.