Bruce Bochy, the only manager of the San Francisco Giants who has won a World Series (actually, 3 of them), announced this week that he will retire at the end of his 13th season running the team.
Bochy is an old-style manager who largely ignored modern metrics and large data dumps to manage with his “gut,” relying on his decades of knowledge and experience to make the right decision at the right time.
It’s hard to argue with his success, so if Bochy’s gut told him to retire now, his gut was probably right.
The Giants have not played well the last 2 seasons, averaging just 68 wins. The fall-off in performance can be attributed to injuries to veteran players and a lack of talent coming up from the farm system
The Giants canned General Manager Bobby Evans at the end of last season and have hired Farhan Zaidi, former GM of the Dodgers, as president of baseball operations.
Zaidi, who also spent a decade with the Oakland A’s learning their “money ball” philosophy, is among the new breed of GMs who rely on statistical analysis and performance metrics to guide their player personnel decisions.
Bochy could probably adjust to that style of play, but it’s more likely that Zaidi wants to bring in his own guy rather than sign Bochy to a new contract.
Bochy always struck me as a man with a temperament suited to the grind of the long season. He never got overly excited when things were going well and didn’t panic when the Giants were in a slump.
He also had a sense of humor that few people were exposed to. For example, during Pablo Sandoval’s first stint with the Giants, he went down in a heap one day after fouling a high fast ball off his shin.
Bochy came running out with the trainer to see how bad it was. As the trainer was tending to Pablo’s injury, Bochy turned to St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina and said: “Don’t call that pitch again.”
People in the stands couldn’t understand why Molina and the home plate umpire were laughing while Sandoval was hurting.
Rebounds: Seth Greenberg, ESPN’s lead studio analyst for men’s college basketball, is a bright guy who clearly knows the game. But a judge of talent? Maybe not so good.
Greenberg was the head coach at Virginia Tech when Steph Curry was a senior at Charlotte Christian High School. Curry’s father, Dell, was a graduate of VT and wanted his son to play there.
After checking him out, Greenberg offered Steph the opportunity to be a walk-on! Curry said no and accepted a scholarship from Davidson, a second-tier school where he blossomed into a star.
Keep that in mind the next time Greenberg pontificates about a player’s potential. His shaky judgement of talent may also explain why he’s now working in TV instead of coaching.
But in fairness to Greenberg, it should be pointed out that coaches at two other schools closer to Charlotte–Roy Williams of North Carolina and Mike Krzyzewski of Duke–also passed on Curry.
So much for their evaluation skills.
Among the big five college basketball conferences, the Pac-12 is clearly the worst of the bunch. And with a conference record of 0-14 after getting thrashed by Arizona Thursday, Cal is clearly the worst team in the conference.
What’s interesting here is what might have been. When Cuonzo Martin abruptly left Cal to take the Missouri job, the athletic department interviewed several candidates before giving the job to Martin’s top assistance, Wyking Jones.
This has proved to be a bad decision, made even worse by the fact that one of the candidates they passed over was Eric Musselman, head coach at the University of Nevada–Reno. The Wolf Pack currently has a 24-2 record and is ranked No. 6 in the country.