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Friday, October 27, 2006

Bruce Bochy Becomes Giants' Manager


About a week after starting talks with Bruce Bochy, he was named manager Friday afternoon at AT&T Park. It started becoming more and more apparant the Giants where going to go with Bochy during the week as they where in serious talks and Sabean hadn't spoken with another candidate in days. I think Bochy is a solid, safe pick. The Giants where obviously looking for a guy with big league managing experience which is why Bud Black and Ron Wotus weren't offered the job. Bochy has a well respected name throughout all of baseball and it will definetely give potential free agents a lot more of a secure feeling to sign with San Francisco than if the team was ran by Ron Wotus. I'm not too excited about this move, but Bochy is a better manager than both Dusty Baker and Felipe Alou so I'd expect to see this help the team. Bochy knew the team better than any other candidate besides Ron Wotus and has very good credentials. The move makes a lot of sense. It also gives me the feeling that this team will still be that veteran heavy, Barry Bonds' based team. If the team would have went with Bud Black, I think it would have been an obvious sign that this team is going to really get younger this season. But now I'm pretty certain Bonds and Ray Durham will both be back and that would eliminate any outside chance of making a serious push for Alfonso Soriano.

Bochy said the right things in the press conference, and he implied that the plan is for the team to get younger and needs to get the bullpen figured out. When asked about Armondo Benitez, Bochy had absolutly nothing to say besides that they need to figure out the closer situation and Benitez "has a good arm." This is great news because it sounds like Bochy is not likeing the idea of Benitez closing next year. Benitez is most likely untradeable which makes it pretty much a sure thing he'll be back again next season, but the Giants need to find a legit back-up plan or two. The good thing about Bochy is he will actually give people rolls in the bullpen and stick with them. He will not be a guy who uses his bullpen as freely and randomly as Felipe Alou, and he's a guy who will stick with a good pitcher rather than making switch just for the matchup, something Alou did constantly. Granted, Alou had a bad hand to work with, he wasn't a very good at managing the pitching staff, especially the bullpen. I think he did a good job in letting starters go as long as they could, but he made too many moves with the bullpen. Bochy will likely find a guy to pitch the 8th and find a guy to pitch the 9th, and he won't make numerous moves throughout those innings. The Giants will have more structure with Bochy and they are definetely going to demand some respect from free agents. I think the first move of the '06-'07 off-season was a good one.
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