Shocking news from San Francisco Giants spring training in Scottsdale, Arizona, as manager Bruce Bochy announced Monday morning that he will retire at the end of the 2019 MLB season according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Bochy has guided the team through 12 seasons, three World Series titles, four playoff appearances, three hometown ballpark name changes, and the transition from the Barry Bonds era to the “Don’t Stop BeliEVEN,” even-numbered year title-winning Giants dynasty that we now know and love. The 63-year-old is considered a lock to be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
In true Bochy fashion, he did not so much “announce” his retirement, but instead “quietly mumbled” that he would be stepping down at the end of the 2019 season. Bochy is known as a calm presence who does not often raise his voice, even when chewing out umpires, kicking dirt, and getting ejected from ballgames. “In my mind, it’s time,” Bochy told reporters in Scottsdale. “I’ve managed with my gut. I came up here in 2007 on my gut, and so it’s a gut feeling that it’s time, and it’s been an unbelievable ride.”
It’s hard to even remember a time when Bochy was not the San Francisco Giants skipper. Boch took over for Felipe Alou after the 2006 season, and immediately had the navigate the disastrous Barry Zito situation. But Bochy cannily coached a band of misfits like pot-smoking foul-mouth Tim Lincecum, panda-hat inspiring Pablo Sandoval, and bank-shot marksman Buster Posey to the promised land of pennants and trophies — not once, not twice, but three times (and possibly a fourth this year?).
Check out old-time Bochy, making his 1978 Major League Baseball debut with the Houston Astros! Legend has it that his head was so enormous that whenever he was traded to another team, he had to keep the same batting helmet and spray-paint it to the new team colors because no team has a size 8 ¼ helmet that would fit him.
Bochy vows he will remain involved with Major League Baseball in some capacity after his retirement, but obviously, the Giants will have extra motivation to rally and make his farewell-tour season a proper sendoff.
“We’ve got to end this on a high note,” pitcher Derek “Lastname” Holland told the Chronicle. “We need to take him where he needs to be and give him that last game in October, not in September.”
Add to the mix that the Giants continue to pursue free agent slugger Bryce Harper, and the 2019 could indeed be something special. (Manny Machado just signed with the Padres, so dominoes are beginning to fall.) It’s not an even-numbered year, but the odds say the Giants are currently 66-1 underdogs to win the World Series in 2019.
As if we would stop believin’!