"Even though I'm retiring, I'm looking forward to one more shot."
The Giants' world was rocked Monday, when Bruce Bochy announced that this coming season would be his last as manager for San Francisco. It had been on Bochy's mind for some time, and he thought it best to have everyone on the same page heading into what will be his final season in the dugout.
"It was important for me to tell them that, and really to get it out," Bochy told NBC Sports Bay Area's Amy Gutierrez during an exclusive interview following his announcement. "So I could be honest with everybody and get it behind us and it wouldn't be a distraction for myself, Farhan (Zaidi), Larry (Baer), the team ... everybody. We can concentrate on baseball."
Suddenly, the 2019 season has taken on a whole new meaning for the Giants. Yes, a return to contention after the last two dismal years is certainly high on the list of goals. But now, each time they take the field, there's going to be an element of, 'Win one for the skipper' to it.
There are bound to be numerous pit stops along the way at which point Bochy will be honored for his vast contributions to the Giants franchise, including, of course, three World Series titles in a span of five years. Of the nine other former managers in MLB history to win at least three World Series titles, all of them are already in the Hall of Fame. Bochy will surely join them there.
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But if it's up to Bochy, those in-season ceremonies will be kept to a minimum. "That's not what this is about," he told Gutierrez.
Whether or not he gets his wish remains to be seen. But no matter what, you can count on a whole lot of reminiscing over the next seven or eight months, depending on how successful Bochy's final season is.
Heck, it's already begun. In their conversation, Bochy was asked about his favorite memories as the Giants' skipper. One immediately came to mind, and for good reason.
"This one's probably pretty obvious, but when I handed the ball to my son coming out of the bullpen, that's a moment I'll never forget."
Outside of specific memories, a constant one that holds a special place in Bochy's heart is the endless support he's received from Giants fans over the last 12 seasons.
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"That was the one constant that I always had and the team always had over my tenure there," Bochy said, "is that they've always been there."
Bochy and the Giants plan to figure out a future role for him with the organization, so it's not as if he'll disappear from AT&...err....Oracle Park altogether. In fact, Bochy doesn't intend to go far at all.
"It's just amazing how well I've been treated up there," Bochy said of San Francisco, "and that's where I'm sure I'm going to end up making my home because that's home for me."