Black not surprised by Tejada's tear

Black not surprised by Tejada's tear

SAN DIEGO -- It's no secret that the Padres have scuffled offensively in September, going 11-15 with a team batting average of .233 -- 12 points lower than their previous lowest totals this season, in June and August.

Shortstop Miguel Tejada is one of the players who continues to swing a hot bat. Heading into Wednesday's game against the Cubs, he is hitting .286 with five home runs and 17 RBIs in September.

None of this surprises manager Bud Black, who saw plenty of Tejada during his seven seasons as the Angels' pitching coach.

"He's got a good, short swing, he's got strength, he knows how to hit and he knows his game," Black said. "Overall, he has an idea, an approach about what he wants to do each and every at-bat.

"I saw Miggy firsthand for those years [when he played] in Oakland, and this guy's a good player on both sides."

Black indicated that Tejada has had an influence on the team that extends beyond the playing field, which is something he was told about when the Padres traded for him on July 29.

"His leadership comes in a number of forms, primarily in the way he prepares every day to play and plays hard. No excuses, and that's refreshing. He's not overly vocal, but what he says carries a lot of weight," Black said.

"He's well respected just because of how he plays and how he prepares to play. He plays with a certain intensity, and yet he's relaxed. It's a great way to be a leader, for me, and you hear a lot of ex-teammates say he was one of their all-time favorites."