As the Giants held their first full-squad workout on Monday morning, longtime manager Bruce Bochy announced that he will retire following the 2019 season:
Bruce Bochy announces he will retire after the 2019 season pic.twitter.com/TWiBLgL3Oh— Kerry Crowley (@KO_Crowley) February 18, 2019
This news certainly doesn’t come as the biggest surprise; Bochy is 63 years old, is entering the final season of his contract, and is now working for a president of baseball operations (Farhan Zaidi) who didn’t hire him. Though Bochy has actually been rather transformative in the game’s history in terms of being flexible with his roster and creative with his pitching staff, it’s widely been discussed this offseason how Bochy — one of the final remaining members of the managerial “old guard” — isn’t exactly the perfect match in the dugout for Zaidi, who embraces a data-driven philosophy and is likely to micromanage much more than his predecessors, Brian Sabean and Bobby Evans.
In addition, the Giants have struggled over the last two seasons, going a combined 137-187, and Bochy’s health has been a concern in recent years, as he underwent four heart procedures in three years from 2015-17: angioplasty, cardioversion, and two ablations.
Bochy, who managed the Padres for 12 seasons before joining the Giants in 2007, has had a bit of an odd career; he’s reached four World Series and won three, but has only reached the postseason eight times in 24 seasons and is actually below .500 (1,926-1,944) all-time. Still, the fact that he led the Giants to three World Series victories over a five-year stretch while being widely beloved by his players and the people who covered him means that he’s likely headed for induction in Cooperstown as soon as he comes up on the Veterans Committee ballot. As NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic pointed out Monday, all of the other nine managers who have led teams to three World Series victories are in the Hall.
Bochy said that he plans to stay in baseball, and with the Giants being famous for having a “once a Giant, always a Giant” philosophy — Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Will Clark, Orlando Cepeda, Dave Dravecky, Jeffery Leonard, Dave Righetti, and Randy Winn, as well as the club’s last two managers, Dusty Baker and Felipe Alou, are among those who hold advisory roles with the team — it wouldn’t be surprising to see him accept that type of role in San Francisco’s front office.
Given that Zaidi will have full autonomy to choose his new manager but didn’t choose the team’s existing staff, it’s totally up guys who are on Bochy’s staff right now will have a real shot at getting the job. With that said, third base coach Ron Wotus and bench coach Hensley Meulens are strong, experienced candidates who would likely fit nicely in the role. Other possible managerial types who worked with Zaidi at various points during his career include Mike Gallego, Chip Hale, Josh Bard, and Bob Geren.