As Bruce Bochy steps down, an era comes to an end

Jimmy DeRogatis

The end of yet another San Francisco Giants era swiftly approached us, raining down once again on this historic franchise. The Giants will be left with a looming open managerial spot for the first time since the end of the 2006 season. It only took a few years for Bochy and the Giants to become a dynasty in the early 2010’s. He exemplified what it is to be a player’s manager and he knew how to get the best out of each of his players. Bochy was more than just the right man for the job at the time, he was a representation of one of America’s most vibrant cities: San Francisco.

We all knew the Giants legendary manager Bruce Bochy was headed straight for retirement following the conclusion of the 2019 MLB season. Under Bochy’s leadership, the Giants posted a 1,052-1,054 (.500) record since 2007. His 1,052 wins are the second-most wins by a Giants manager in team history behind Hall of Famer John McGraw (2,583).

Bochy was the fourth manager in San Francisco history to bring more than 10 years of big-league managing experience to the job after his time in Pittsburgh and San Diego. Only Cap Anson (21 seasons) in 1898 and Hughie Jennings (14) in 1924 coached longer. Interestingly enough much like the demographics for the city of SF, Bochy became the fourth Giants manager to be born outside of the United States (France) in 2004, joining Jack Doyle from Ireland, Arthur Irwin from Canada and Felipe Alou from the Dominican Republic.

The team lost their momentum after a month of dominance in July, officially being eliminated from playoff contention with a third place finish in the National League West behind the gargantuan 109-win Los Angeles Dodgers and the blossoming young squad of the Arizona Diamondbacks. 

Bochy wasn’t left with much talent this year for another magical run. Guys like Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey, and Pablo “Panda” Sandoval who stuck around and were the pivotal economic model of World Series Championship rosters from years past, couldn’t manage the behemoths of the National League. This year’s Giants team ultimately succumbed to more superior rosters down the stretch. 

Derek Rodriguez, the son of big-league hall of famer Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, continued to dazzle on the mound for Bochy along with Tyler Beede, the Giants first round pick back in 2014, who developed into an emerging young phenom. Beede showed promise in Sacramento and Bochy gave him a spot in the show during September roster call-ups, bringing up potentially one last pitching prospect onto the rubber at Oracle Park.

Bochy is amongst the rarest of breeds for a manager, which is going out on your own terms. The Joe Torre’s, Charlie Manuel’s, and Mike Scioscia’s of the world are about as rare as a player staying his entire career with one franchise, it just doesn’t happen. During his 13-year tenure with SF, Bochy guided the Giants to three World Series titles, with San Francisco winning the Fall Classic in 2010, 2012 and 2014. He became the fifth manager to lead a team to three titles in a five-year span, joining baseball royalty alongside Connie Mack, Joe McCarthy, Casey Stengel and Joe Torre. The Giants’ championship in 2010 was their first in San Francisco history and their first overall since the then New York Giants won the title in 1954.

This year Bochy will be accompanied by Ned Yost of the Kansas City Royals as world championship winning managers riding off into the sunset on their own terms. He leaves baseball with being the 11th manager in MLB history to achieve 2,000 wins in his 26-year managerial career.