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San Francisco Giants Future Manager: Hunter Pence (Someday)

Nick San Miguel
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 10: Hunter Pence #8 of the San Francisco Giants hits an rbi sacrifice fly scoring Brandon Belt #9 against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the bottom of the six inning at AT&T Park on April 10, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 10: Hunter Pence #8 of the San Francisco Giants hits an rbi sacrifice fly scoring Brandon Belt #9 against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the bottom of the six inning at AT&T Park on April 10, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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Hunter Pence and Bruce Bochy are getting older. So are you, and so am I. However, more is being made by San Francisco Giants Fansof this anomaly as it pertains to a 35 year old ball player who’s struggling. It doesn’t help matters that a man eight years his junior is absolutely decimating baseballs an hour and a half north.

One could look at the fact that both of these men, who have done everything and a little more for the San Francisco Giants, are aging and get a little uneasy. It really wouldn’t seem right to see Bruce Bochy or Hunter Pence finish their careers with different ball clubs. However, this could be a possibility no matter what happens this year.

With Pence’s contract up this year and Bochy’s up next year, it seems that our precious time with these two individuals could be dwindling precariously. Even if Hunter turns it around and finishes with some respectable numbers this year, it’s still tough to imagine him back next year unless he were willing to not start and take a pay cut. This is due to the plethora of younger and cheaper outfield talent that exists in Triple-A.

If Hunter were to go to a different team next year, it would be brutal. Giants fans love Hunter Pence. I mean, he embodies so much of the Bay Area what with his quirks and eccentricities that are still extremely lovable at least to Giants fans. Pence is my favorite baseball player not just because of his weirdness and passion and uniqueness, it’s because (and I hate to sound like a 75 year old, but for lack of better phrasing) he plays the game the right way.

Not that there’s a right and wrong way to play the game, it’s just that Hunter Pence is the only guy that I watch on a regular basis who I know will bust his rear down the line on a come-backer to the pitcher.  

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That video literally gives me chills. That’s the way my dad taught me how to play and it’s just beautiful. Sadly, we might lose the national treasure that is Hunter Pence. Couple this with the fact that Bochy will likely be gone soon and it’s double the sadness.

While Bochy will most likely not go off and manage another team even in the unlikely event of his firing, it seems unlikely that he’ll coach in San Francisco beyond 2019. It’s possible that he could retire after this year but there’s obviously no way to know for sure. This is why I think the Giants have to be smart and give Pence a deal this off-season, but not to play on the field.

Mike Krukow has said this about dozens of players, but I think it holds true with Pence: when he’s done playing, he’ll coach. It’s undeniable how much Pence loves the game, and his leadership skills are unparalleled.

It’s almost too perfect how his decline coincides with Bochy’s aging and seemingly imminent retirement. Even if Bochy decides to coach next year, the Giants should make Pence an assistant coach or something so that when Bochy decides to call it quits he’s not out in Tampa or (gulp) someplace even worse trying to keep his career alive.

Pence would make a great manager. He’s intense but knows how to channel that intensity and get results. Even if he does go to another team or wants to take time off to start a family I think his love for the game will inevitably bring him back in the form of being a coach of some kind. Maybe not as a hitting coach though, as I think his swing mechanics might not be the best to try and replicate.

Next: Stratton a future ace?

No matter what happens with results and Bochy and all that I think (and hope) that at least one day Hunter Pence will be the official leader of the orange and black.

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