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Murphy looking forward to Triple-A opportunity

PEORIA, Ariz. -- As the old baseball adage goes, no one wants to be in Triple-A.

But Pat Murphy sees it differently.

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"I do," said Murphy, who managed the Padres' split-squad team Sunday in Tucson against the D-backs.

Murphy will return to Tucson next month to manage the Padres' Triple-A affiliate, making the jump from short-season Eugene of the Northwest League.

"I'm excited about it. I've got a lot to learn," Murphy said. "I spent this past offseason talking to people that either played, managed, coached or who have been involved in Triple-A."

Murphy, who has spent the entire spring as part of the Padres' coaching staff, understands the mentality of players in Triple-A is far different than what he experienced coaching in college -- Notre Dame and with Arizona State -- and in Eugene, where most players are right out of the Draft.

Murphy realizes that managing in Triple-A is probably as much about managing people as it is players.

"I look at every day as a great opportunity. I'm used to an environment where wins matter … they still matter to me. They always will," he said. "It's creating a winning baseball culture, that's the things I'll emphasize. I know it will be a struggle at times, but I'm looking forward to it."

San Diego manager Bud Black feels Murphy will flourish in Tucson.

"Pat will be the first to tell you the pro game has opened his eyes on a number of different levels," Black said. "But fundamentally, he's a good baseball man. He understands the game, he understands players. He's got a good baseball mind. He's going to do fine.

"It's a tough one [managing in Triple-A]. Mentally, for a lot of players, it's a tough spot. But one of Pat's strengths is being able to get players to see the big picture."

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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