World Series Notebook: New Identity for Bochy

World Series Notebook: New Identity for Bochy


ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- For the last 12 years, Bruce Bochy has lived with the stigma of getting swept in the World Series.

For the rest of his life, he'll be known as the manager of the 2010 World Series champion San Francisco Giants.

Bochy likes to say he's just the guy who decides which of his tremendous pitchers starts on a given day, but it's easy to see his impact goes much deeper. He mixed and matched a collection of "characters,""castoffs" and "misfits," drawing out enough offense to get by the Braves, Phillies and Rangers this postseason.

"I was just hoping to get one more chance at this," said Bochy, his championship T-shirt somehow still dry nearly an hour after San Francisco beat Texas 3-1 in Game 5 on Monday night to claim the title.

"That's what the game is about, being in this moment right now," he said. "So I'm living a dream."

Bochy went into October having lost 10 of his last 11 playoff games. He left his highest-paid player, 126 million pitcher Barry Zito, off the postseason roster and hardly used his highest-paid hitter, outfielder Aaron Rowand.

Instead, he relied on guys like Andres Torres, a 10-year minor leaguer, and rookie catcher Buster Posey.

"I can't say enough about how they accepted some roles," Bochy said. "I'm sure they weren't happy with me, guys (who) were used to going out there every day. But they stayed ready, and they had one thing on their mind, and that was to do this. ... But it's not going to work unless they buy into it, and they did."

Perhaps the best example was World Series MVP Edgar Renteria. He didn't start until Game 2 of the NL championship series, San Francisco's sixth game this postseason.

"Bruce somehow managed to juggle this roster and put people in position to be successful," managing partner Bill Neukom said.

Bochy was most proud of the pitchers his supposedly paltry lineup beat -- from San Diego's Mat Latos in the regular-season finale to get into playoffs, all the way to Texas' Cliff Lee in Games 1 and 5 of the Series. In between, there was Tim Hudson and Derek Lowe in Atlanta, and the Philadelphia staff of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels.

"It amazes me," Bochy said. "I'm sure a lot of people didn't think that was going to happen."

Bochy is 55, in his 16th year as a big league manager after nine seasons as a backup catcher. He was NL Manager of the Year in 1996 with the Padres and has been with the Giants since 2007.

After winning Game 4 on Sunday night, Bochy was so excited and so nervous about being one win away from the title that he could hardly sleep. He said he was nervous all day. When Nelson Cruz struck out to end it, Bochy threw both his arms straight in the air, then hugged pitching coach Dave Righetti.

"I was numb at first because you understand how hard this is to do," he said. "But it makes everything worthwhile, whatever you do when you get to this point."

IN DEFEAT, A RING ANYWAY: Rangers catcher Bengie Molina is going get a World Series ring anyway because he spent half this season on the San Francisco Giants. How awkward is that?

"There's a lot of guys that I enjoyed playing with, made myself very comfortable when I was there in San Francisco," he said. "I'm actually very happy for them. ... I think they're enjoying right now what a special feeling it is."

Molina said before the Series that he was considering retiring. In the moments after this season ended, he said he hasn't decided.

"Right now, it's probably closer to no playing than yes," Molina said. "I don't want to decide right now because then something happens later on and I come back. I just want to spend time with my family right now, my mom and my wife and my kids. I'll spend times and I'll make a decision."

Molina was 2 for 11 in the Series, playing four of the five games.

ONLY IN SAN FRANCISCO: Warning: Giants slugger Aubrey Huff is considering a grand unveiling for his lucky red thong.

"I'm probably going to wear it all by itself in the parade," Huff said. "I better get a spray tan, huh?"

Three things you need to know after the Raiders’ 33-8 loss to the Patriots


Three things you need to know after the Raiders’ 33-8 loss to the Patriots

MEXICO CITY – Three things you need to know after the Raiders’ 33-8 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City:

1. So you’re saying there’s a chance

The Raiders aren’t stacking wins as they’d like. Nobody in the AFC West is, either. The Chiefs lost another one, meaning the AFC West crown remains within reach. They’re two games back in the division and one back in the wild card race.

That, above all else, will keep the Raiders motivated after a disastrous loss to New England.

“We're professionals and to me, so long as you have hope, you keep your hope, you keep hope alive,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “So, we'll continue to scratch and claw and fight for everything we can.”

The Raiders can harken Lloyd Christmas from “Dumb and Dumber.” So you’re saying there’s a chance.

The Raiders will only stay in it if they start a prolonged winning streak. There’s a chance do that on an upcoming two-game home stand. They play Denver and the New York Giants, respectively, in Oakland over the next fortnight. Those teams have five wins between them.

Wins can’t be assumed with the Raiders team, with the inconsistency and mistake-prone play to lose to anyone.

Fight remains in this group. They’ll continue to push, especially with a 9-7 record being a legitimate playoff contender. They haven’t played worthy of such consideration, but remain hopeful a switch gets flipped.

“We are who we are, we're not going to turn on each other, we're not going to turn on anything about what we do,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “Obviously, we know that our culture and everything that we do works, because we have seen it work.”

2. Receiver corps becoming a weak spot

The Raiders have a talented group of receivers lacking consistency and production. That was the case on Sunday, when pass catchers hindered offensive flow and scoring opportunities.

Seth Roberts was the biggest offender. He had a drop, a false start and lost a fumble near the goal line with the Patriots up 14-0 late in the first half. Roberts had 12 yards in his pocket but held the ball one-handed, away from his body fighting for more. Marquis Flowers knocked it free and Patrick Chung recovered.

That was the turning point, a true 10-point swing. The Raiders lost a chance to reach the end zone, and allowed New England to get a field goal as the half expired.

“That was a major turn of events,” Del Rio said.

The slot receiver wasn’t the only receiver who stalled the Raiders offense. That group had five drops, according to Pro Football Focus, including two from Michael Crabtree. Johnny Holton wasn’t credited with a drop, but he had a perfectly thrown deep ball clang off his helmet and shoulder pads.

It’s a bad night in a bad year for the Raiders receivers, who haven’t been producing.

3. Lopsided score keeps Marshawn from going BeastMode

Running back Marshawn Lynch was the only player who had a good Sunday. The bruising back ran roughshod over New England’s front seven, right from the start. He totaled 67 yards on 11 carries, and seemed primed for a big day and a higher-than-usual carry volume.

He and the Raiders run blocking was consistent, allowing him to reach the second level on several occasions.

The lopsided score, however, meant the Raiders had to abandon the ground game.

“I thought we ran the ball well early,” Del Rio said. “I would like to have ended up with 30-plus rush attempts in the ball game, but you got to stay within reasonable amount of the score in order to stick with the run.”

The Raiders were down two touchdowns in a flash, and were three scores behind at the half. That forced Derek Carr to chuck it towards an unreliable receiver corps. That method proved inefficient and never created the big moments.

Lynch has run well since returning from a one-game suspension. He has 25 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns in his last two games. If there’s a positive to take from Sunday’s beat down, Lynch’s efficiency might be it.

Del Rio calls out NFL for Raiders losing home games to go abroad


Del Rio calls out NFL for Raiders losing home games to go abroad

MEXICO CITY – The Raiders have played in Mexico City the last two years, and have given up a home game to do it.

You already know head coach Jack Del Rio’s stance on the matter. He doesn’t like it. Not one bit.

The NFL announced Sunday morning that Mexico City will host games annually through 2021. The Raiders will be on the short list to return during that span.

“They’ve done a nice job for us over the last two years,” Del Rio said. “If it was a road game, I’d enjoy it. If they stop making (international contests) our home games, we’ll be fine.”

Hate to be the bearer of bad news Jack, but the Raiders will keep giving home games away. That’s expected each year until the Raiders formally move to Las Vegas.

The Raiders might not come back to Mexico for a third straight season, but could host a game in London next year. The NFL sent four games to the United Kingdom this year.

The Raiders have a massive fan base in England and Mexico, which makes them an attractive option to play abroad.

It might make financial sense for the team and the league to expand its base beyond borders, but the football people don’t find it fun.

The Raiders had more fans watching Sunday’s 33-8 loss to the New England Patriots at Estadio Azteca, but it’s no substitute for playing in Oakland.

“I think the crowd down here is pretty excited for the Raiders, so we appreciate that,” Del Rio said. “When you travel four-and-a-half hours, you’re not at home. We appreciate the hospitality and the good people who came out and supported us, but it’s hard to call it a home game.”

This one, especially. The Raiders had overwhelming support last year’s game against Houston, but Patriots fans were a large and vocal minority. They had plenty to cheer, as the Patriots waxed the Silver and Black over four quarters.

It’s hard to say the Raiders had a home crowd this time around, with plenty of noise when they were on offense.

“You know what, traveling down here, I think it was like four hours or something like that, and getting here, I think that hospitality was great, but it really wasn't, it wasn't the Coliseum,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “It didn’t have that feel. Now, we loved playing here, we loved coming down here and playing, but it felt more neutral.”