Bochy to Giants — Done Deal?

The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that Bruce Bochy has reached an agreement with the San Francisco Giants to replace Felipe Alou as manager. (Thanks to Brian Wilmer in the comments for the heads-up.) Everyone is issuing denials for now, as Bochy prepares to lead a team of MLB all stars to Japan on Monday. The San Francisco Chronicle has picked up on the story as well, so it sounds legit. Word is the deal is at least 3 years at $2M per year. The Giants are expected to announce Bochy’s hiring in a Friday news conference.

Love him or hate him, with Bochy moving on, this represents a huge change for the Padres. He’s the only person connected to all five playoff teams this organization has seen. And, of course, the Pads will have to begin their own search for Bochy’s replacement as manager.

I’m sorry to see Bochy go. His in-game decisions will drive you crazy sometimes, but he represents an important thread in the club’s fabric. And that’s not the sort of thing that’s as easy to replace as you might think.

[Update: Coverage from the North County Times and San Diego Union-Tribune. Angels pitching coach Bud Black (an SDSU alum) and Giants third base coach Ron Wotus are mentioned as possible successors to Bochy.]

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59 Responses »

  1. But knowing the guy you think the Padres want to hire (someone young or Bud Black) … and let’s face it, this team won’t have a future of being filled with veterans and this team needs a young manager to help transition all the young talent.. I also think this means that the team will go younger this year maybe take a shot at a top free agent but not go after as many veterans as in years past.

    I think it’s a risky move but a fair move by Alderson to let Boch determine his own value and let him take a job if he wants it.

    I think there are a strong group of managerial candidates out there and I think this is a good time to transition for the Padres.

  2. This is a good thing. I expect Alderson to hire a young, low-key manager, not unlike Bochy, but one who understands he is middle management, and the team is run by Alderson first, Towers second, and the manager implements the wishes of upper management.

    Bochy often did a fine job for the Padres, leading them to four of the five playoff appearances in team history. But that was then, and this is now. I hope the Padres go undefeated against Bochy.

  3. I agree 100% with Kevin. Bochy did some things well, but he didn’t fit with the way the team is being run under Alderson.

  4. Do the Padres get any compensation from the Giants?

    Bochy’s departure also means the Padres should have about an extra $1 million for free agency this year. I am definitely ok with that.

  5. re 4: I hadn’t even thought about that. Bonus!

  6. 2

    If Sandy Alderson believes that he should run the team, then he should name himself the manager. There is a DISTINCT difference between running the ORGANIZATION as a president and running the TEAM as its manager. There is a reason why Sandy Alderson doesn’t make out the line-up card or decide on double switches. Players wouldn’t respond to Sandy, but they responded to Boch tremendously. Boch proved he was one of the more adept managers in the big leagues, and when you have a guy like that, you don’t let him go.

    What it comes down to, in my own humble opinion, is that Sandy wanted a puppet, and that Bruce Bochy didn’t want to be that.

    Also, I think this may end Mike Piazza’s stay in San Diego.

  7. Much thanks to Boch for the 12 years…he had me as a supporter for many years, but in 2006 he lost me.

    I wish him well in SF…

    I am looking forward to the new era in SD…Black? Colbert?

    Fresh face, fresh voice, freshness…

  8. Giants first baseman Mark Sweeney, who played for Bochy in San Diego for 3½ seasons, believes his former skipper would be a good fit in San Francisco.

    “The one thing it’s going to do — and it’s good for our organization — is if there are potential free agents looking for a manager to play for, Bochy’s that guy,” Sweeney said. “It would definitely benefit us in getting some free agents who might go elsewhere. I just think that goes a long way in deciding a team. It adds to it that you get a guy who has that credibility and experience.”

    I knew Sweeney had something to do with this.

  9. I was a big Bochy fan and am sorry to see him go to division rival.

    Has a manager who is under contract and who has led his team to back-to-back division titles (for the first time in team history) ever been allowed to leave to take over the helm of a division rival? Does anyone remember something like this happening in any sport?

    Funnily enough, one of the reasons Sabean wanted Bochy was for his in-game managing skills (I’ll have to go back and look for the exact quote).

    I imagine that having a manager (and former catcher) who knows the ins and outs of arguably your biggest division rival won’t hurt the Giants. Maybe Richard can give us some insight into how much Bochy managing the Giants — in the sense that he knows the Padres strengths and weaknesses better than anyone else — will hurt the Padres and help the Giants. Maybe it will have no bearing.

    As for Alderson, I think this was a savvy move. By letting Bochy go, instead of firing him, there is now less of an onus on the president if the Pads do not fare well in the next couple of years. If he had fired Bochy, with the larger payroll leeway, the new stadium, and higher fan expectations, a Padres team that did not win the division with Alderson’s hand-picked guy would have brought an inordinate amount of pressure from the fans and media.

    Regarding Alderson’s explanation that “he wanted his manager to be happy and to be able to explore his options,” I wonder if AGon is on the phone right now telling Sandy that he thinks the Yankees will offer him a bigger contract for more years than he has right now and that we wants the same option Bochy was given.

    Bottom line was that if the Padres didn’t win the NLCS next year, Bochy knew he was gone. Alderson letting Bochy talk to the Giants was his way of telling Bochy that. Alderson was fair in that respect, and Bochy took the job security. (Evidently, KT made enough good moves this year for Alderson to keep him around a while longer.)

    As for the excuse that the Pads were expected to go further this year, not too many people expected them to even win their division. And then the disappointment that they couldn’t get past the Cardinals…seems neither could the Mets or Tigers.

    *****Side note: Both of the teams in the Japanese World Series this year lead their respective leagues in sacrifice bunts. They also play in pitchers parks and have great defense. Trey Hillman manages the Nippon Ham Fighters (up 3 games to 1 over the Chuunichi Dragons in the best-of-seven series).

    Who would you most like to see become the new manager of the Pads? Why?

  10. One more thing:

    What does this mean for Barry?

  11. 10. I can’t see Bochy wanting to deal with Bonds…but I also think that Boch may be one of the very few that Bonds can’t/won’t try to physically intimidate.

    I don’t like this at all…but I’ll feel a little better if Bud Black is hired.

  12. Who’s head is bigger? Bonds or Bochy?

  13. Correction: Who has the bigger head? Bonds or Bochy?

  14. Anticipating Bochy’s departure, Towers said he had begun preparing a list of prospective managerial candidates. Among those likely to be interviewed is Angels pitching coach Bud Black, a San Diego State alum who also was interviewed by the Giants this month. But several others also will be in the mix.

  15. I heard the news on the XX last night. My reaction was disappointment. After all, Bochy is the link with the past. I started thinking of the disappointment of the players, particularly Hoffman.

    This has left me with that bitter taste in my mouth about the Alderson era. While I have been an admirer of SA, I am not a fan of corporate mentality and believe loyalty to individuals is an admirable quality, rather than a weakness.

    XX is handicapping Bud Black to be the new manager. Glenn Hoffman’s name was also mentioned. The latter would likely sooth a few wounds in the clubhouse.

    I think we can count Piazza gone for next season. His landing in San Francisco wouldn’t surprise me.

    Thanks to Bochy for the past service. Time will answer the question, I guess, as to his value to the Padres.

  16. Man, I bet Lou Piniella is kicking himself right now – if he had only waited a few weeks!
    Seriously, I have no idea what Bud Black’s managing resume looks like, and I’m not sure what other options are even out there. Baker is obviously no, Girardi is an obvious no, ditto Alou and Robinson (just to mention the managers recently fired); Everything I’ve read about Manny Acta is encouraging, and if I were the Padres and getting compensation from SF for Bochy (which SD will, as Bochy had a year left on his contract), I would turn around and see if Eric Wedge could be pried from the Indians. He is by far the best young-ish manager in the league.
    I do wonder what impact this will have on SDs free-agents to be (Roberts, particularly, although I’m guessing he wasn’t coming back one way or another). I’m assuming that SD will miss out on some unless they get a new manager in place very quickly.
    #6 – The Padres have an option on Piazza. It’s for a lot of money, something like 8 million dollars, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they add another year and pick it up. The Pads have money to play around with because of Park and Klesko and Woody and Estes coming off the books (that’s 25 mil right there), plus they were going to increase the payroll anyway. If they can get Piazza for 5 million or so for the next two years, and he matches this season’s production, he stays, I think. Josh Bard’s not going to hit 320 every year.

  17. #15
    Not sure how you can blame this on SA or “personal loyalty.” Bochy didn’t get fired. He quit! I mean, I suppose you can argue that Alderson allowed Bochy to negotiate with another team, but Bochy could have declined. If you’re talking about Bochy’s loyalty, then I understand, but I can’t really blame the front office for a guy quitting for a “better” job.

  18. What a weird day.
    Bochy got a better deal from the Giants . . . can’t fault him for that. I’m a little disappointed to see him go.

    I guess I really don’t care who the next manager of the Pads is (as long as his last name isn’t Baker, Howe or Schowalter) — just make sure it’s someone good.

    Colbert might be a good idea — and he’s going to be cheap, too.

  19. I guess this is a better deal for Bochy, I mean he’s making about the same amount of money and he gets a 2 year extension for moving….but is the Giants job really a good one?

    That organization is in bad shape, plus Bonds is going to be back causing trouble all season-makes me wonder if it really is going to be worth it for Bochy especially considering the Padres would have been interested in bringing him back if the team had another good season.

    I guess running the team the way he wants to is a very big deal for him.

    I’m interested in seeing if there is compensation involved, it would seem like there should be.

  20. going to the Giants I think means:

    The giants will try to re-sign bonds and keep lots of average-veterans

    and it means the Padres will play young players now and I also think this is a sign the team has to do something to clear space in the outfield (pick up the option on Cameron and please explore trades for Giles)

  21. plus Alderson says the right things in today’s UT

    “I think that’s a misperception,” Alderson said of the notion that he prefers his employees feel insecure. “I don’t have any problem with recurring extensions. On the other hand, I don’t have any real interest in continuing to extend contracts solely to give employees a cushion in case of termination . . .

    “From my standpoint, I do not believe any of that sentiment exists in the front office. I think everyone is well aware of what we’re trying to achieve and what the background and reasoning is behind our approach.”

  22. I was thinking about that Sweeny quote… Players wanting to play for good managers. It’s probably true. But what’s more true, is players want to get paid. Bochy was good here, but I’m not upset to see him go.

  23. BigKTFan…the big difference b/w AGon and Boch in your analogy is that AGon is governed by a CBA while managers are not. Boch had the right to do it, AGon does not.

    On another note, the Giants fans don’t seem very happy. I keep hearing 1 of 2 things….Either “Yawn” or “This sucks and is not a good move.”

  24. From “Reports indicate that the Padres are not planning to ask the Giants for compensation if they do sign Bochy.”


  25. It’s a chance for low-key talent grab by a guy (Towers) who said one of his fundamental learning experiences was Larry L telling him always get an extra arm in a deal… (Kudos to whomever it was who posted the quote a few days ago.)

  26. From

    “…Another possibility. [Dusty] Baker, given his experience and his California background, would appear to be a natural candidate if the Padres are seeking someone with a history of success, respect among players and a proven track record.”

    History of success? He didn’t succeed with the Cubs. He ran their pitchers into the ground. And he is exactly the type of candidate Alderson will avoid.

    I DO NOT think Baker is a candidate and I think his mention in Lyle Spencer’s article is merely congesture. And furthermore it shows how out of touch the national writers are with the Padres.

  27. Thank you for the 12 years of managing the Padres, Bochy.
    Good luck in SF.

    I don’t like the fact that he’s gone to a divisional rival.
    I like it even less with no compensation.

    Let’s see who’s going to manage here now. I don’t mind seeing promotion from within the organization. Not Muser or Glenn Hoffman, though. Seen enough of those in Kansas City and the interim Dodgers. No Baker or any other old and just fired manager.

  28. Re 23: Neither Bochy nor the Giants had “the right to do it” until it was granted by Alderson. Maybe Alderson can try to get the CBA waived for Padres players so that all of his employees can explore their options and go to a team where they would be more content.

    My point was that SA was not entirely forthcoming with his explanation that he wanted his employees to be able to explore their options and therefore be even happier when they returned to Padres. Fortunately, Bochy’s 24 years with the Padres org. provided him with enough insight to read between the lines.

    I don’t think Bochy was treated unfairly, and I doubt Bochy feels Alderson is disingenuous. They both knew where they stood. I just feel this move, perhaps because I am a big fan of the steady guidance of Bochy, leaves the Pads on shakier ground than a week ago.

    Then again, nearly every “expert” sportswriter predicted the Tigers to walk all over the Cards, so predictions can be shaky, too.

  29. I have listened to a couple of interviews with SA on XX and he sure isn’t someone I would want to work for. He spent a lot of time talking about how decisions were being made in his “system” and I got the opinion that the organization was becoming an environment where people weren’t allowed to make decisions without complete collaboration. That is all fine and dandy except that eventually individuals get held responsible group decisions.

    I will take all the responsibility for all the decisions I make as long as you let me make them; but don’t make me get buyoff from 10 people on every decision I make in order to do my job then blame me if the results aren’t what you wanted. If I were Bochy, I would have left too.

  30. Re 28: I think you mean “merely congestion,” as in the stuff that builds up in your chest cavity (and at times also spews from sportswriters).

  31. Re 26, not 28 (although there may be some congestion in there, too).

  32. LOL – oops I did mean “conjecture” – but “congestion” is certainly funnier…

  33. On the bright side, I’ll have a better view from the dugout seats in Peoria without Bochy’s enormous head blocking my view. (I hope they don’t raise my ticket price.)

  34. I once bussed Bruce Bochy’s table at Lehr’s Greenhouse. He had lunch there before a day game. That is all I have to say.

  35. Bud Black’s name keeps coming up but has he even managed anywhere? I’m a little leary of former pitchers, it seems like most successful managers are former catchers or infielders.

    I’ve always felt Bochy’s in-game deficiencies were overstated (every manager in the league gets ripped by fans almost every game) but I think it’s good he’s moving on. This is a team that’s gone through a lot of changes the last couple of years and figures to go through a lot more this off season. It’s time to bring in an optimistic young manager, someone with new ideas and enthusiasm.

    I don’t understand why Alderson continues to take heat for this. If he doesn’t plan on signing Bochy to an extension and doesn’t let him talk to other teams then Alderson would be a jerk. Don’t forget there’s no interview unless Bochy decides to apply for the job. Bochy could have played out his contract and left at the end of next year but he saw an opportunity and took it. If Alderson wasn’t going to resign Bochy he can’t come out and say it publicly, he has to leave the possibility open.

  36. PM…that (#34) was funny…very funny. Thanks for the laugh.

  37. 36.. alderson quoted int he UT today said the exact thing…

    you have to understand that managers and GMs aren’t concerned with winning championships, they’re more concerned with being able to keep their jobs. I also think that every minute we don’t have the people Alderson wants here is another minute wasted because we need whoever he wants here to get this done.

  38. so should we put a clause in the contract that says a WS is auto-two year extention?

  39. I’m a bit sad to see BB go, both from the standpoint of losing a big part of Padre history and from the standpoint of losing what I feel was a great ‘strategic’ manager. By that I mean the strategy of managing a team over 162 games, keeping them motivated, managing the pitching staff, etc. I agree with all that BB was a mediocre-at-best tactical manager.

    All that said, I’m not angry with Alderson…he didn’t fire Bochy, just let him decide where he wanted to be. I am never in favor of building fences around guys (i.e. refusing teams the right to talk to them). If they listen to other offers and don’t want to stay, fine.

    I don’t think the Pads bring back Piazza at $8MM (option price), and w/o Bochy there I’m not convinced he’ll rework the deal and stay. Other than that I don’t think this impacts any of the other existing-personnel decisions. Free agents may be a different story, remains to be seen.

    If, however, they hire anyone named Baker, Howe, Macha, Bowa, etc., I will be VERY upset. Don’t know Acta or Black, but as long as the hire isn’t some limp re-tread I’ll give the benefit of the doubt.

  40. Two good things about Bochy leaving:

    1. Maybe the rookies will get to play now
    2. Maybe pitchers will get the hook based on their pitching performance, not leaving them in just to save their confidence and/or feelings.

  41. re: 40

    “By that I mean the strategy of managing a team over 162 games, keeping them motivated, managing the pitching staff, etc. I agree with all that BB was a mediocre-at-best tactical manager.”

    That’s not strategy. That’s motivation and people skills.

    Strategy is when to hit-and-run, when to bunt, what pitcher to use, etc.

  42. 42: You’re thinking of tactics. Strategy is “big picture.”

  43. Trevor’s pissed, Peavy’s pissed, Giles is probably pissed, Cameron was so-so. Ya know what? I bet guys like AGon, Barfield, Greene, any and all minor league prospects are pretty stoked. X Nady’s stoked. I dunno. Trevor should shut up. Peavy, even more. Win a freaking playoff game before you think you’re the voice of the team. Getting tired of Jake. I hope he’s traded this offseason (and I very much think he will be). Picture it: Khalil Greene, Jake Peavy, Cesar Carillo to NYY for A Rod.

  44. If those guys are all pissed then it was a good move. I’m getting tired of all the reports of this team crying like a bunch of schoolgirls when Castilla or EY were let go or now that Bochy has left. You’re getting paid millions of dollars, suck it up. If they don’t understand that the objective is winning, not being buddies with your manager, then it was clearly time for a change.

  45. 45

    This isn’t a 72 win team that’s upset that their manager is gone. These guys genuinely liked playing for Bochy, AND they won 88 games and a division title under him. I don’t think the fact that they get paid millions of dollars should inhibit them from forming their own opinions. If they are unhappy that Boch is managing a division rival, they have the right to say so.

    Also, I don’t see any reason why Adrian (not “AGon” – I cringe everytime someone uses that nickname; it reminds me of the bad Alex Gonzalez) or Josh Barfield or Khalil Greene would be any happier than the team’s veterans. Adrian I think I only sat one game after the all-star break, and I don’t think Bochy ever took Khalil out of the lineup until his injury. Barfield did sit some in September, but we should also note that we went 20-9 during that time.

  46. 46: Yeah, you’re right. I guess my real problem isn’t the players being upset, it’s the way it’s sometimes reported in the media, like it means that letting Bochy or Castilla go was a mistake. I remember during the season some of the 1090 talking heads basically said that letting Castilla go was a mistake because even though he wasn’t hitting at least he helped the chemistry. We’ll hear the same thing next year when the Padres have a bad stretch and god forbid we get swept in a Giants series. I guess it’s to be expected, they have to fill all that air time somehow.

  47. 44: I don’t see why we’d have to throw in a second arm.

  48. every once in a while I write something that makes me think I actually might have a little talent…

    Gang, I’d like an opinion on this one…I think it’s an interesting perspective, although I’m deliberately ignoring some valid points for the sake of the article (Not like the “pros” don’t do that everyday, right?)

  49. Interesting take on the Strickland accquisition from a poster (Swinging Friar) over at ProSportsDaily Forums > Baseball > San Diego Padres

    He says (paraphrasing) that perhaps Strickland was accquired to replace Linebrink so they can trade Liney to Boston or Houston for Lowell or Ensberg. Sounds intriguging. Looking at Stricklands numbers though, I wonder why he has bounced around the majors. They aren’t that bad, not great, but not that bad.

    Maybe Cla gets Liney’s spot and Strickland goes in the 7th.