Bruce Bochy spoke for 15 minutes and nine seconds, bringing tears to eyes and hitting every last note perfectly as he thanked Giants fans, executives, coaches, broadcasters, family members and the dozens of players who had flown into San Francisco to surprise him.
This wasn't a surprise, of course. Bochy always knew the right thing to say to his team, the perfect way to motivate players before a big game. Whether he was talking about good times or discussing losing streaks, suspensions or a player putting his fist through a clubhouse door, he always seemed to know exactly what to say in front of cameras, too.
But on Wine Wednesday with Amy Gutierrez, Brian Sabean revealed a fun fact about that speech. He said it wasn't written in advance. Bochy had no idea what the Giants had in store for him after his final game, and he watched the emotional ceremony from the corner of the dugout, stunned that so many former players had shown up.
"I don't know if you remember, but he was alone in the dugout when everybody was coming on the field," Sabean said. "There wasn't a person around him, sitting in the corner of the dugout by the bat rack. I remember as we had walked out, he turned to me and said, 'You know, I've got nothing ready. I've got to get my thoughts together.' To think that he was able to do that and methodically go through the whole ball of wax, including the people that were in attendance, it's still amazing to me.
"I just listened to it the other day. It's a tearjerker, really."
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That speech, given with players like Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner and Tim Lincecum standing behind him, strangely might end up being the last moment at Oracle Park that includes fans for quite a while. If you've forgotten how it went, you can read the whole transcript and watch it here. Sabean said Bochy's ability to take the mic like that saved others on an emotional day.
"There's no way in hell I could have spoken on that last day," he said. "I would have been a babbling fool. He did such a tremendous job and got everybody off the hook, including me."
Even with their magical run in San Francisco having come to an end, Sabean and Bochy still are working in tandem. Sabean's surprise appearance on the Instagram show came about because Bochy nominated him after appearing last week. The two became extremely close friends after Sabean brought Bochy from San Diego to San Francisco. They lived in the same building across the street and sometimes found themselves crossing over when the sun was coming up. Bochy has spoken often about how they would open a bottle of wine and spend hours upon hours discussing games in his office.
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Both now serve in advisory roles in the front office. Sabean, who backed away from the spotlight a few years before Bochy did, said it was difficult getting through that final season. He was emotionally spent by the time Bochy took the field one last time.
"Last year was rough on me, especially that last homestand because of the finality," he said. "I really had a hard time knowing this was the end and that our tandem, so to speak, and more so his career with the Giants, was going to be officially over."