SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Bruce Bochy made it official Monday, announcing the 2019 season will be his final one. We already know where the manager next will be seen representing the Giants.
Bochy is a lock to be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. In fact, he has been a lock since Madison Bumgarner recorded the final out of the 2014 World Series.
"To me he’s a lock," Giants CEO Larry Baer said about Bochy on Monday. "The city of San Francisco is really proud of him, and as he goes through the season we’re going to have tributes. But I think the ultimate tribute will be Cooperstown. To us it’s a no-brainer.”
There are 10 managers in MLB history with at least three World Series titles, and the other nine are in the Hall. As if that third title wasn't enough, Bochy enters the 2019 season with 1,926 wins, placing him 11th all time. The 10 men ahead of him on that list all are in the Hall, too.
Bochy’s legacy is secure, and on Monday, he kick-started what should be a yearlong celebration of one of the best managerial careers in MLB history. Bochy told his players that the 2019 season, the final one of his current contract, will be his final one as a manager.
"It's time," Bochy said on Monday. "It's been an unbelievable ride. There's so much to be grateful for. With the players ... the city ... the fans ..."
This will be Bochy’s 25th season as a manager and 13th in San Francisco. The Giants aren’t projected to be in playoff contention, but Bochy believes in the group that has been put together, and he has made it clear that this isn’t to be viewed as a rebuilding year or a retirement tour. If his players can keep up their end of the bargain and exceed expectations, Bochy could hit a few more milestones.
Bochy is 74 wins away from 2,000, and that should be a relatively easy mark to hit. If the Giants can throw nine more wins on top of that, Bochy would move past Leo Durocher (2,008 wins) and place himself in the top 10 all-time in managerial victories. An improbable 90-win season would give Bochy an even .500 record (2,026-2,026) as a big league manager.
Bochy will finish well above .500 in the postseason, where it really matters. He’s 44-33 in the playoffs and ranks fourth all-time in wins. The greatest of those might have been that final game of 2014, when Bochy handed the ball to Bumgarner in the middle innings. A few days later, Brian Sabean, his boss and close friend, stood on the steps of City Hall and introduced Bochy as “our Hall of Fame manager.”
Soon enough, he will be.