Bruce Bochy named Team France manager for World Baseball Classic

Bruce Bochy named Team France manager for World Baseball Classic

SAN FRANCISCO -- There was a poorly-kept secret as Bruce Bochy marched toward his final game as manager of the Giants: Bochy was going to manage again in 2020. This week, it became official. 

The France Baseball Association announced that Bochy will manage Team France in the World Baseball Classic qualifier taking place in Tucson, Arizona from March 22-27. France will be competing with Germany, Spain and others to get a spot in the 2021 WBC.

Bochy had met with the association during the summer but had to iron out some details after the season. 

Didier Seminet, the president of the French federation, said he was "proud to announce Bruce Bochy" as manager and noted that Bochy, born in Landes de Bussac, has a "special relationship" with the country. 

"We are very honored and excited that he wishes to seize this opportunity to help the development of French baseball," Seminet said in a statement. 

This is something Bochy has been looking forward to, and he recently said that he's excited about making it a family affair. His brother, Joe, will be on the coaching staff.

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Brett Bochy, a former Giants prospect who pitched for his father at the big league level, will be on the pitching staff. When Brett visited Oracle Park for his father's final series as manager, he said he already was working out in preparation for returning to the mound.

Ron Wotus, a third base coach for Gabe Kapler next season, is also expected to be on the staff

Crawford returns to Giants after WBC lives up to high expectations

Crawford returns to Giants after WBC lives up to high expectations

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Stuck in a strikeout-filled slump late in the World Baseball Classic, Nolan Arenado grabbed one of Brandon Crawford’s bats before a seventh-inning at-bat. Arenado, the Colorado Rockies superstar, singled the next two times up. 

“I told him, ‘You can keep it, you just can’t use it against us,’” Crawford said Friday upon returning to camp. 

Arenado won’t need it against a team he seemingly hits .750 against. Crawford doesn’t need a lucky charm, either. He went 10-for-26 during the tournament, driving in six runs, including two on a big single in the championship game. Crawford was starting to lock in before he left camp the first week of March, and he said an early WBC game against White Sox lefty Jose Quintana helped him find his groove. 

While Buster Posey found himself pleasantly surprised by the experience, Crawford went into the WBC with high expectations. They were met, and not just because he came home with a medal. Crawford enjoyed his time alongside Arenado, and he noted that it was fun to watch guys like Marcus Stroman from his position at short. He found that Jonathan Lucroy and Danny Duffy were different personalities than he expected, and Christian Yelich opened eyes with his work at the plate over eight games. He was thrilled to be at shortstop when Adam Jones made a stunning over-the-wall catch at Petco Park.

“That was one of the best catches I’ve seen -- no offense, Gregor Blanco,” he said. “That was definitely up there with it. The timing and the crowd being there with him. Blanco’s catch was pretty good, too. (Jones’ catch) was one of the top two outfield plays I’ve seen, I guess.”

Crawford had his whole family with him throughout the tournament, from Florida to San Diego to Dodger Stadium. He had previously represented the United States as an amateur, but his team was heavily favored in that tournament. Against teams like the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Japan, Team USA often felt like the underdog. 

In the end, Crawford, Posey and Mark Melancon found themselves celebrating a title that they hope will be the first of two this season. Crawford said that as much as he enjoyed the experience, it doesn’t quite compare to getting to a World Series. 

“It’s a lot different,” he said. “They’re as big of games as you can get in March, but it is still March. This lasted three weeks. The World Series, you win after ups and downs with these guys for seven months. With the grind of a long season, it’s satisfying to win.”

On one of the team’s flights, Lucroy told Crawford that the WBC was basically an All-Star Game combined with a playoff series. He found that to be an appropriate comparison, and as he has in postseasons, Crawford found a way to keep it light. When he walked into the trainer’s room on Friday, Crawford saw Melancon, who pitched just two-thirds of an inning after joining Crawford and Posey.

“I asked him if he’s tired,” Crawford said. 

Posey describes WBC: ‘Some of the most fun baseball I’ve ever played’

Posey describes WBC: ‘Some of the most fun baseball I’ve ever played’

Buster Posey already has three World Series rings to his name. And after Team USA's 8-0 win over Puerto Rico Wednesday night, Posey can add 2017 World Baseball Classic champion to his ever-evolving list of accomplishments. 

On Thursday, Posey went to Instagram to show how much he truly enjoyed his time with Team USA. 

Posey wrote: "Great experience playing in the WBC! Some of the most fun baseball I've ever played!"

To preserve the catcher's health, manager Jim Leyland rotated Posey and Texas Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy every other game, playing four each.

Posey finished the 2017 WBC hitting .267/.313/.667 and tied for the team lead with two home runs while driving in four runs.