With manager Bruce Bochy set to retire after the coming season, where do the San Francisco Giants go from here?
Bruce Bochy has managed continuously in the big leagues since 1995, and he’s the longest-tenured manager in baseball (with one team) entering his 13th season as the San Francisco Giants’ skipper. But on Monday, it was announced the three-time World Series winning manager will retire after the 2019 campaign.
Bochy has a 975-969 regular season record as Giants’ manager, and counting his 12 seasons as San Diego Padres manager he has a record of 1,926-1,944. He’s won four total National League pennants and the aforementioned three World Series titles in San Francisco.
Somehow, Bochy has only won one Manager of the Year Award, and that came with the Padres in 1996. But as Jon Morosi of MLB Network points out, Bochy’s track record makes him a lock to join a rare set of managerial peers in Cooperstown:
Bochy plans to stay involved in baseball in some way, and discussions with Giants CEO Larry Baer about an alternative role in the organization have apparently already taken place.
The Giants have gone through some changes above Bochy, with general manager Bobby Evans fired in September and his longtime predecessor, Brian Sabean, moving into a smaller advisory role. Former Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi has come in as president of baseball operations and will hire a general manager, so a new front office will be able to choose their own field manager after the coming season. It doesn’t seem like Bochy is being forced out, or being afforded the softer landing of a retirement announcement rather than being fired if the Giants have a poor 2019 season. But it’s not hard to connect those dots if one chose.
After winning 64 games in 2017 and 73 last year, the Giants are not expected to be very good again this year. As long as 80 or 90 losses remains the expectation, notable names like Madison Bumgarner and Evan Longoria could be moved near the trade deadline as Zaidi looks to restock with younger, cheaper talent.
That kind of organizational reset would not fit a manager of Bochy’s mold well, outside of any potential old-school vs. new-school conflicts in strategy. So, today’s retirement announcement is well-timed for him, as he nears the end of his managerial run. And after the 2019 season, the Giants can try to get back to where they were earlier this decade with the help of fresh voices in all prominent front-office positions