It’s the end of an era in San Francisco–future Hall-of-Fame manager Bruce Bochy is retiring after the 2019 season.
Bochy, the only Giants manager to win a World Series title in San Francisco, told reporters on Monday he’s stepping down after the season–his 13th with the orange and black.
"“In my mind, it’s time,” Bochy said to MLB.com. “It’s been an unbelievable ride. There is so much I’m grateful for, with the players, the city, the fans. It’s time now.”"
The Giants took to Twitter to honor Bochy.
And the skipper himself, who joined Twitter just last year, posted a thank you message to the fans.
In his 25 years as a manager, all consecutively, Bochy is 1926-1944, good for 11th all-time. He needs 82 more wins to catch Leo Durocher, who is in 10th place all time. With the Giants, he went 979-965. Add to that three World Series titles in five years, you can punch his ticket to Cooperstown.
Surprisingly, even after leading three underdog teams to World Series championships, Bochy has only won one Manager of the Year Title. That happened in 1996 with the San Diego Padres, who he managed for 12 seasons.
One incident in particular illustrated Bochy’s brilliance as a manager. On Jul. 20, 2010, the Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers were locking horns. In the top of the ninth inning with one out at Dodger Stadium, the Giants were down 5-4. The bases were loaded, and Don Mattingly, who took over as manager for Joe Torre after he was ejected earlier in the game, accidentally made two trips to the mound as he was talking to the tough closer Jonathan Broxton and first baseman James Loney. The second “trip” was merely a step back to answer Loney’s question. While most managers would have let this go, Bochy immediately pounced on Mattingly’s mistake.
Next, the umpire forced Mattingly to make a pitching change, which is the rule if a manager makes two trips to the mound in an inning, and he brought in struggling lefty George Sherrill. Sherrill proceeded to give up a bases-clearing double to Andres Torres, fueling the Giants to a thrilling 7-5 win over their rivals.
According to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area, Bochy may not be the Giants’ skipper in 2020, but he says he’ll still be around the game–as a Giant.
Although Bochy is stepping down, he told MLB.com nothing is forever, not ruling out a possible return to the bench down the line.
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"“Never is a big word,” Bochy said. “Never say never. You never know what’s ahead of you. Where my head is at right now, I’m retiring as a manager here this year. It’s not something I’m thinking about. So I’ll leave it at that.”"
Bochy’s retirement comes at a rather unsurprising time. His contract is up after this season, and a new front office has taken over the Giants, led by Farhan Zaidi. The Giants are looking to step into the 21st century of baseball–possibly a younger manager that’s more analytic and less “old-school” managing with his gut.
Now that Bochy made the announcement himself early, the focus can shift to what’s happening on the field, instead of having his future remain a lingering question all season.
As for the 2019 season, the Giants owe it to the fans, players, and Bochy to put together a competitive product that can win.
Bochy has given so much to the Giants, and the last thing you’d want is for the team, with such championship pedigree, to send him into the sunset with a 98-loss clunker of a season.
Who knew that the “Padres guy” they hired in 2007 to replace Felipe Alou would end up becoming one of the greatest managers in the history of the San Francisco (and New York) Giants franchise.