After what will be his 25th season managing in the major leagues, Bruce Bochy will call it a career. Bochy announced his decision to retire at the end of the 2019 season Monday morning sitting on the dugout bench at the Giants Spring Training facility.
Bruce Bochy announces he will retire after the 2019 season pic.twitter.com/TWiBLgL3Oh— Kerry Crowley (@KO_Crowley) February 18, 2019
Bochy’s contract with the Giants is set to expire at the end of the year, and there was some speculation if the Giants would look elsewhere for a new manager. After the front office overhaul, we wondered if the change in leadership would extend to the dugout. Now, it has to.
Since 2007, Bochy has managed the Giants through the Golden Era. He was at the helm for all three of their World Series championships. He was around for both of Tim Lincecum’s Cy Young awards. He was there for Buster Posey’s Rookie of the Year and his MVP season. But perhaps his greatest achievement in a Giants uniform was when he made Don Mattingly remove his pitcher on a technicality.
Bochy is the second-winningest manager in Giants history behind John McGraw who managed the New York team at the beginning of the 20th century. He’s been the best manager the Giants have had in my lifetime, and there’s an argument that he’s been the greatest in the San Francisco era. Bochy is destined for the Hall of Fame, and he’s certainly deserving of that distinction.
Bochy has had health concerns in recent seasons, and I’m sure that was a consideration in his decision. I can’t help but wonder whether Bochy wanted to be what managers have become now.
Bochy is one of the last managers of his kind. The trend now is to hire younger, less experienced former players like Aaron Boone, Dave Roberts, and David Bell. The manager role has changed so much since Bochy stepped into it in 1995. More in-game decisions and strategies are coming from the front office, and a manager’s main responsibility now is to keep his clubhouse happy and speak to the media. The job is less about baseball and more about PR.
Watching the Giants certainly won’t feel the same without Boch grousing in the dugout and making Bochy noises, but nothing gold can stay. Here’s hoping the Giants don’t play like they’ve got their feet stuck in a bucket during Bochy’s last season.