The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

Thank You, Bruce Bochy

Jack Freeman pays homage to Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who will retire at the end of the 2019 season.
NBC Sports
Former catcher and current Giants manager Bruce Bochy prepares for another game.

The year is 2006, and the San Francisco Giants had just let go of manager Felipe Alou after another disappointing third-place finish in the National League (NL) West. After the season ended on October 1, fans waited only 26 days for the Giants to announce their next manager, Bruce Bochy. 

Bochy, former catcher, played for nine years on various teams during the late ‘70s and ’80s. He gained fame in the San Diego area after leading the Padres to two consecutive postseason appearances. It is uncommon for a manager to leave for a rival after making the playoffs, but Bochy had one goal: to save the Giants.

It’s no news to anybody here that this ballclub has gotten off track the last couple years, but this is a storied franchise with a great history, and I am looking forward to this opportunity to bring winning baseball back to San Francisco,” Bochy said in his opening press conference to the media.

Despite the managerial change, the following year brought a stronger NL West, and the Giants fell to dead last in the NL West. The 2008 season brought similar results, as they finished fourth. It wasn’t until 2009 that San Francisco finally saw winning baseball again: the Giants finished 88-76, placing third in the NL West. 

The Giants showed strong young talent, including second-year pitcher Tim Lincecum, second-year third baseman Pablo Sandoval, and fan-favorite rookie catcher Buster Posey.

What would happen in 2010 would shock the world.

“There it is… struck him out!”Joe Buck, Fox Sports commentator, exclaimed. “And for the first time since 1954, the Giants are world champions.”

For the first time in San Francisco, the Giants won the World Series. This was the first time since 1954, in which the New York Giants (who later moved to San Francisco) beat the Cleveland Indians, the Giants won the World Series. A group of rag-tag veterans and young talent had defied the odds and beat the Texas Rangers four games to one.

“That was a really special time,” Robert Johnson, local Giants fan, said. “I remember everyone was watching those games in my neighborhood. I remember game four took place on Halloween, and nobody was trick-or-treating that night in my neighborhood.”

The following year, the Giants were favorites for a back-to-back World Series. Although heavily favored by most media outlets, there were critics. Many players on the 2010 World Series team had retired or left and without much more young talent, the Giants added more veterans. Due to this, the Giants fell eight games back of the NL West title, therefore, missing the playoffs. 

“Those even years were so special,” Woodside junior Nelson Bautista said, referring to the years where the Giants won three straight World Series. “But the odd years were really bad; I don’t understand how they did it.”

After missing the playoffs, the Giants’ fans’ expectations were a little subdued, with some still believing that the Giants were a playoff team but maybe not a World Series champion.

“Romo’s two-two-pitch on the way… Cabrera takes strike three called, and the Giants have won the World Series in Detroit!” KNBR’s John Miller exclaimed as the Giants won their second World Series in three years.

The Giants had done the impossible. After so much roster turnover, they had won the World Series again. Behind the bat of Pablo Sandoval, who hit three home runs in four games, they had done it again. The city could not be more excited. 

“After that win, everyone was a Giants fan,” Johnson added. “You did not go anywhere without seeing something orange and black. It was insanity.”

After two World Series in three years, people were excited, but then they checked their calendars and saw it was an odd year. And as such, the Giants regressed, falling to third in the NL West and 12 games back of the playoffs.

When 2014 rolled around, Giants fans once again broke out the orange and black for playoff baseball in October. The Giants entered as underdogs, finishing second in the NL West and eight games back of the division win. But, none of that mattered come October when they had made the wild card, a one-game playoff series. Win and the Giants would move on, lose and they would be heading home. 

They took on a red-hot Pittsburgh Pirates team and won two to zero. Then they headed to Washington to take on the Nationals, where they won four games to one. They moved on to play the 2011 World Series champs, the Saint Louis Cardinals and beat them once again four games to one. The only team in between them and their third World Series in five years were the Kansas City Royals.

It was not as easy as the past series or even the past World Series, and the series came down to a seventh game in Kansas City.

“Popped up… Sandoval in foul territory… Giants win!” Joe Buck once again exclaimed.

Although the Giants would never reach the heights of 2010, 2012, and 2014 again, Bochy had forever made his impact. As manager of the Giants, he won over 1000 games and became the first-ever manager to win 900 games with two teams. Adding to an already spectacular career on September 10, he joined the exclusive club of managers with 2000 wins, becoming the eleventh manager to do so.

“To me, [Bochy] means more to San Francisco and the Giants than anyone in recent memory,” Johnson said.

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About the Contributor
Jack Freeman
Jack Freeman, Co-Editor in Chief
Jack Freeman is a senior, a first-year Co-editor in Chief, and a third-year journalist. He enjoys writing about sports and current local events. He hopes to tell people’s stories as well as give some commentary on sports. In Jack's free time, he enjoys watching and analyzing sports, as well as playing video games and talking with friends.

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