SAN DIEGO -- In tumultuous times, when injuries and underachievement have ravaged the Padres the last two seasons, the one constant has been the optimistic persona of manager Bud Black.

"I've never seen Buddy Black have a bad deal. Sometimes when you have a real volatile manager, it can make things even worse," Padres general manager Kevin Towers said on Thursday, the day the team announced a contract extension for Black.

"He has been a breath of fresh air for all of us. He hasn't panicked. If anything he's been more positive than I have been. He has helped me out. I tend to fall on the more negative side of things. He helps balances me out."

The Padres rewarded Black for his patience Thursday when they officially extended his contract through the 2010 season with a club option for 2011. Team CEO Jeff Moorad first said last month that a deal was in hand, though not finalized.

On Thursday, just prior to the Padres' game with the Mets at PETCO Park, that deal became official.

"I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to continue working towards our goal of bringing a championship to San Diego," Black said in a statement. "The leadership of this organization wants to win and knows how to build a team that can compete year in and year out.  We have a great core of young players to build around, and there is a lot to be excited about with this club."

The Padres were 44-65 at the start of Thursday, and 196-238 under Black in three-plus seasons.

"I personally think that he has managed this year better than he did the prior two years," Towers said. "With time and experience, he's only going to get better. It's not his fault that we're 20 games under .500, working with what he's had to work with."

The Padres started fast this season, going 9-3 and then winning 10 consecutive games before pitchers Jake Peavy and Chris Young, the 1-2 arms in the starting rotation, found themselves on the disabled list. Catcher Nick Hundley and second baseman David Eckstein have also spent considerable time on the disabled list.

The team has used rookies like outfielders Kyle Blanks and Will Venable, pitcher Mat Latos and shortstop Everth Cabrera to fill the voids of those injured players. The Padres also traded Peavy and outfielder Scott Hairston for seven pitchers in the last month alone.

"He's been one of the driving forces in getting the young guys up there and letting them play," Towers said. "It's been the type of team he wanted, steal some bases. This is the kind of team he likes. This team has played with a lot of enthusiasm."

Black was named the 16th manager in franchise history on Nov. 9, 2006. He joined the Padres after seven seasons (2000-06) as the pitching coach for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He won 89 games his first season as San Diego missed the playoffs by one victory.

"I believe that the key to sustained success is having the right individuals in leadership positions," Moorad said in a statement. "Buddy is a great example of this, and I have a tremendous amount of faith that he will continue to be a strong asset in the development of our club."