Giants manager Bruce Bochy wins 2,000th career game in win over Red Sox

Giants manager Bruce Bochy wins 2,000th career game in win over Red Sox

For weeks, Giants manager Bruce Bochy has downplayed the significance of reaching 2,000 wins. He has kept the focus on the day-to-day grind, but the milestone is one that means something to his players, and on Wednesday, they finally got Bochy over the hump. 

The Giants beat the Red Sox 11-3 to make Bochy the 11th manager in MLB history with 2,000 wins. It's an exclusive club and one that shares another common thread. Every manager with at least 2,000 wins is in the Hall of Fame

"It's obvious I've had so much support from everybody," Bochy told NBC Sports Bay Area's Amy Gutierrez after the milestone win. "But it's a number that represents so many people. This is the players, they're part of it. The front office -- Brian Sabean. It's all of us, the coaching staff and the training staff. It's a number associated with me but it should be with everybody."

Bochy has long been a lock for Cooperstown, and it should be a while before anyone else threatens to crash the club. Cleveland's Terry Francona is next on the active wins list but still needs more than 300 to reach 2,000.

Bochy got there with the Giants' 74th win of this year, his final season as a manager. Earlier this year he reached 1,000 wins with the Giants, joining John McGraw as the only managers to pull that off. Bochy already had become the only manager in MLB history to win 900 games with two franchises, having won 951 in San Diego. 

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With their two wins in Boston, the Giants have a chance to check off two more boxes for Bochy. He doesn't talk about milestones, but he doesn't want to go out with a losing season, and the Giants are back within four games of .500 with 10 to play. Bochy also is now two games above .500 (1,049-1,047) as Giants manager as he approaches his final week in charge. 

Ex-Giants manager Dusty Baker reveals his challenge when MLB returns

Ex-Giants manager Dusty Baker reveals his challenge when MLB returns

Dusty Baker has been a part of professional baseball since 1967, and if and when the sport returns in 2020, he will have to kick a few habits he's probably been doing since he was drafted by the Atlanta Braves.

All players, managers and coaches will have to stop spitting, among other things.

In the name of health and safety during the age of the coronavirus pandemic, MLB sent a 67-page document to teams outlining what the players can no longer do.

For Baker, the former Giants manager and current Houston Astros skipper, he isn't sure how he's going to stop spitting.

“Now the biggest challenge is gonna be what my mom has been chastising me about my whole life — spitting,” Baker told The Athletic's Jayson Stark and Doug Glanville. “I am not kidding you. That’s the first thing my wife asked me. She goes, ‘How you gonna stop spitting?’ I don’t know.

“And my mom, I swear — she has been getting on me since I was 10 years old about spitting. Know what I mean? And I used to practice spitting. I’m the most accurate spitter in the world.”

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

If you've seen Baker anywhere near a baseball diamond, he always has a toothpick sticking out of his mouth. Those little pieces of wood have become synonymous with the 70-year-old.

Baker told Stark and Glanville that there was a time in his career where he called a toothpick company trying to get an endorsement. Yes, a toothpick endorsement.

“So they wrote me back,” Baker said. “Nice letter. And they said, ‘Thank you, Dusty. It’s a great idea. But we don’t need you to sell toothpicks.' ”

Only Dusty could try to get a toothpick endorsement.

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Whenever baseball returns, Baker will manage an Astros team coming off a turbulent offseason in which they were severely punished for a sign-stealing scandal. Former manager AJ Hinch was fired for his role, opening the door for Baker get the chance to lead his fifth MLB team to the playoffs.

If Baker gets back to the playoffs, he'll have to do it without his trusty toothpicks.

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

Why Giants' Hunter Pence feels such 'deep connection' to organization

Why Giants' Hunter Pence feels such 'deep connection' to organization

Hunter Pence was part of two World Series-winning teams with the Giants in 2012 and 2014. He rejoined San Francisco's roster in February after an impressive comeback season in 2019 that included All-Star honors with the Texas Rangers.

The 37-year-old outfielder joined 95.7 The Game on Friday and explained why he decided to return to San Francisco.

“Obviously I feel a deep connection with the Giants organization,” Pence said. “The city, and these years, you never know which one is gonna be your last. I think everyone thought two years ago was my last year, and I’ve been fortunate that I made some adjustments.

“I want to be a part of passing on a lot of the things that I’ve learned to the young people, and I wanna come and transition back into the winning ways.”

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Pence also noted that he’s appreciated getting a chance to work with the organization’s new leadership.

“It’s been really exciting to learn from Farhan, and the new metrics and I learned a lot of that with the Rangers. So I’m excited to share. I wanna pass all that on, I feel right at home, I’m in love with the city and the organization, and in love with everything with the Giants. It feels like home, it feels like family and it means a lot to be a Giant.”

Pence hopefully will be able to once again take the field in a Giants uniform soon.

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]