I guess we have been sleeping on San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy. While experts have sang the praises of managers like Jim Leyland, Tony LaRussa, Mike Scioscia and Dusty Baker, Bochy has somehow gotten lost in the shuffle.
Maybe that is the way he wants it.
In six seasons with the Giants Bochy has a record of 972-503 . He has taken San Francisco to the post season twice in 2010 and 2012. The Giants won the World Series both times. In 2011, Bochy finished second in the NL West.
Before Bochy arrived in San Francisco they had a good team with a superstar in Barry Bonds. The Giants made it to the World Series under Baker in 2002 only to lose in seven games to Scioscia and the Anaheim Angels. San Francisco spent the next seven years watching Bonds break Henry Aaron’s home run record and everyone else go to the playoffs. The Giants did make a run 2003 in only to lose in the NLDS to the Florida Marlins.
When Bochy arrived, Bonds was in his last season with the club. Bonds became a free agent in 2008 and was not resigned by the Giants. This gave San Francisco and Bochy a clean slate to build a championship team. By 2010 they had one.
San Francisco was not expected to win it all that season. They were not even expected to win their division. The Los Angeles Dodgers were supposed to be the team to beat in the West. Even if San Francisco did make the playoffs, they were not expected to beat out teams like the St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves.
San Francisco beat the Braves and Phillies and advanced to the World Series. There they defeated the Texas Rangers in five games.
After tailing off in 2011, Bochy brought the Giants back in 2012. After a slow start the Giants were in first place by July 14. When their best player Melky Cabrera was suspended for using performance enhancing drugs, Bochy kept the ship afloat and San Francisco cruised into the post season with 94 wins.
In the playoffs, the Giants fell behind and were on the brink of elimination three times in each of their series. In the divisional round they came back from two games down to defeat the Cincinnati Reds. In the second they come from down 3-1 to beat St. Louis.
In the World Series Bochy and San Francisco swept the Detroit Tigers in four games. This made his record in World Series games 8-1. That’s almost as good as it gets.
Maybe we have been sleeping on Bochy. I know I have. To me any manager can have one good year when everything falls into place. He deserves his due, but can he do it again?
Bochy did it again. He has proven that he is one of the best managers in the game.
For those of us who were asleep it is time to wake up and take notice.