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Bruce Bochy’s only sign of life last night involved a question about Joe Panik.

The former backup catcher and long-time contact-over-on-base-percentage preferrer couldn’t hide his amusement when Buster Olney asked him this.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers
Bochy’s thousand-yard stare has only been outpaced by the Giants losses since 2016.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Buster Olney interviewed Bruce Bochy at the top of the 4th inning and began with a question about Chris Stratton’s solid start to the game then quickly moved onto the topic of Joe Panik. The specific question was, “Joe Panik, another hit tonight, a respect walk... what’s the difference between Joe Panik in 2017 and what you’ve seen the last few weeks?”

Would you like to see how Bruce Bochy reacted to the phrase “respect walk”?

That’s CLEARLY A SMILE! Don’t you dare deny it, Bruce Bochy. Don’t you dare try to spin it otherwise either, internet article reader!

Maybe we could talk about a reporter asking a baseball manager about “respect walks” in the fourth game of the season, but it’s a lot more fun trying to imagine what’s going through Bochy’s mind as soon as he hears that phrase.

  • “These statboys love them some walks.”
  • “Walks are for feet, not for baseball players.”
  • “I had a really nice walk along the Silverlake Reservoir today. I like walks.”
  • “Heh. Nothing more disrespectful to the game than walks.”
  • “Vinny Castilla never took a walk, and he was the greatest hitter ever who gets no respect.”

It’s not a leap to assume that Bruce Bochy doesn’t think much of the base on ball but this question could’ve just as easily made him giggle internally at the idea that the big ol’ Dodgers are “respect walking” little ol’ Joe Panik. That’s also a possibility. Still, it just feels right to assume that the phrase “respect walk” hit his funny bone because he thinks walks are funny, dumb, and kinda bad.

All we saw from him the rest of the night was the stoic embrace of another Giants loss (the 145th he’s seen since July 2016). There wasn’t much to react to but bad baseball. Still, it’s no fun when they cut to the dugout and you see a grey mannequin wearing a Giants hat. But for this one brief moment, we were given proof of life.