It’s Bruce Bochy’s final birthday as Giants manager and to celebrate that, the team posted this video to their YouTube channel:
It’s a straightforward look at Bochy taking a walk from the visiting manager’s office at Petco Park onto the field for the pre-game introductions, national anthem, and Air Force flyover and in true Bruce Bochy Style, he offers little in the way of revealing statements or quirky fun facts. He’s simply his straightforward, plain spoken self.
I’d like to think that by the time I’m 64, I’ll be as settled in with myself as Bochy seems to have been for the past 25 years. Knowing yourself helps you accept yourself, and that kind of acceptance unlocks truths of the universe. Or, more American-ly, it frees your mind, opens you to all sorts of possibilities.
Yeah, he’s headed for the Hall of Fame and he’s extremely deserving, even as he continues to make head-scratching decisions in defiance of all evidence, but this is about Bruce Bochy the human being. It’s a relief that his public persona comes off as genuinely good.
Bruce Bochy doesn’t come off like someone with an agenda, someone who thinks he’s more clever than the room, or like Andy Green (of whom I’m very suspicious). He’s a steady presence. “Bochy noises” are the tears-inducing punchlines to beautiful setups. They’re not a pose, they’re just natural extensions of an easygoing man trying to make sense of chaos and communicate what he’s settled on to players and media alike.
That humble lack of flash is why the Giants have felt so steady, even as they’ve fallen into an abyss. His final year as manager won’t be any different from the last three execrable seasons, but that won’t change him. Maybe I’m on an island here, but reading his first book, A Book of Walks, really helped me understand him better. Bruce Bochy doesn’t carrier angst and he doesn’t doubt himself, but he takes the world as it is and deals with life as it comes. There’s peace in that and certainly some beauty — an inherent appreciation of life.
So, Happy Birthday, Bruce Bochy, and thank you for being a steady and reassuring presence in this dumb writer’s life.