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Bud Black is as smart as they come, a terrific communicator, a natural leader. Alas, he's a former pitcher.
And former pitchers generally don't make good managers.
Roger Craig and Tommy Lasorda are the most notable recent exceptions. Perhaps Black will be another.
Black spent seven seasons as the pitching coach for the Angels' Mike Scioscia, one of the game's best managers. Even so, his transition won't be easy.
Pitching coaches are micro-managers, usually dealing with no more than 12 pitchers, focusing on one aspect of the game. Managers are macro-managers, dealing not only with 25 players, but also team executives, reporters, advance scouts and minor-league coaches and managers.
Black possesses all the necessary attributes; he deserves a chance. He'll inherit a highly regarded hitting instructor, Merv Rettenmund. He'll also need a strong bench coach as he moves from the American League to the National League; the Padres have not decided whether to retain bench coach Tony Muser, who served under Bruce Bochy.
The Padres' hiring of Black leaves only the A's and Nationals without managers; Black had been a candidate with the A's, as had Ron Washington, who earlier this week filled the Rangers' opening.
A's bench coach Bob Geren, a close friend of general manager Billy Beane, is considered the front-runner in Oakland, though it's possible the A's will turn to Trey Hillman, who recently managed the Nippon Ham Fighters to the Japan Series title.
Mets third-base coach Manny Acta and Yankees first-base coach Tony Pena are believed to be the leading contenders in Washington. Ken Rosenthal is FOXSports.com's senior baseball writer.