When it comes to being a “players” manager, few will rank higher than current Giants skipper Bruce Bochy. He’s generally laid back, especially when it comes to his players and tends to make use of his entire roster (maybe sometimes too much or too deep) appeasing most of his lesser talent. Unfortunately for a select few though, as has been Bochy’s reputation for his entire managerial career, he tends to have a short leash with particular players for no rhyme or reason. Be it Xavier Nady or Ben Johnson in San Diego or Nate Schierholtz or Brandon Belt in San Francisco, there always seems to be one or two players under his current wrath while older struggling talent continues to play over the promising youth. Former Giant Nate Schierholtz, who was recently traded to Philadelphia in exchange for Hunter Pence let his feelings be known in a CSNPhilly piece from insider Jim Salisbury:
“It got to the point [in San Francisco] where I didn’t see myself having an everyday role,” said Schierholtz, a 28-year-old left-handed hitter. “I felt like I needed a chance to earn more playing time, maybe get 100 at-bats in a row, but it wasn’t going to happen.”
Schierholtz said he spoke to Giants manager Bruce Bochy about his situation.
“I felt like I was on a short leash,” he said. “I felt like I was series-to-series, if you didn’t get a hit you were back on the bench. We didn’t see eye to eye. But overall, San Francisco treated me great. I have a lot of great memories.”
Schierholtz does hold some valid points. Bochy’s reputation is what it is for a reason. He’s a guy who prefers proven vets who’ve done it before, even if they’re not doing it any longer. They’re his ship and he’ll go down with them if need be. Sometimes, it’s frustrating for fans and players alike who would prefer alternative options, but at the same time Bochy isn’t without reason for his moves.
Somebody like Belt or Schierholtz hasn’t proven worthy to be an every day starter when given the opportunities. Complain as they may, when given the chance they didn’t take full advantage and that’s on them. Certainly there are scenarios that can hamper the process, be it inconsistent or sporadic playing time, but Nate was given plenty of innings (years, really) to play himself into a bigger role – even essentially being given the starting right field job before John Bowker beat him out for it.
With two sides to every story, both Bochy and Schierholtz have validity in their points/gripes/ways, but I have a feeling this wont be the last time we see a young player less than thrilled with Bruce Bochy’s managerial style.
Hell, it might not be the last time this month.