Bruce Bochy being open to “one more shot” opened himself up to plenty of shots from Giants fans.
When the former San Francisco manager told Chris Russo on Thursday that he’s just “hitting the pause button” and will reevaluate how he feels next offseason — strongly hinting he’d be back in the managing game a year after his spectacle-filled retirement with the Giants — social media was filled with Giants fans who felt they’d been duped.
“I’m a little surprised [Bochy] said it,” San Francisco Chronicle’s Henry Schulman told Mark Willard on KNBR. “But he’s been telegraphing this since the day he announced it. He was telegraphing that he didn’t feel he was done. ‘I’ve got a lot of baseball left in me. Never is a long time,’ when asked if he might manage again. I gotta tell you: I’m frankly stunned and disappointed by the reaction of the fans, by a lot of the fans — not everyone. Just following on social media — I don’t know what people are saying on talk radio.
“For God’s sake, for everything the guy gave San Francisco, he has a right to change his mind. If he wanted to manage again this year, he’d have the right.”
Bochy managed 13 years with the Giants after 12 with the Padres, a future Hall of Famer who said goodbye to all of baseball at 64. He announced his decision in spring training, after the Giants’ regime change with Farhan Zaidi taking over. Throughout the season, though Bochy said he was retiring, he couched the term, continually saying “I’m good” when asked if he was done managing forever. Wherever he went, teams brought gifts.
“He never told these other clubs he wanted a farewell tour. He kind of made it clear he didn’t want a big deal with it,” Schulman said. “I’m sure part of that was because he knew he’d be getting these nice gifts and that he might come back again and manage somewhere else. I think he wanted to respect the Giants by not walking around all year and saying, ‘Yeah, I want to manage again in 2021.’ For God’s sake, he brought the team three titles and people are nitpicking over the fact he took a three-day fishing vacation from the Rockies? Let it go.”
Bochy told media often that he would see how he felt after he finished managing. Twenty-five days after his last game with the Giants, it appears he knows how he feels: that he misses the game already.
“If you’re the Padres or the Dodgers or whatnot, are you going to really begrudge him? He did just end 13 years of a career with the Giants that are going to make him a Hall of Fame manager,” Schulman said. “… If Sandy Koufax wants his jersey back, I suppose Bruce will give it to him. People just need to let it go. Everyone has a right to change their minds or feel a little differently than what the public perception is. I don’t get it. I think people just like to bitch.”
But what about all those going-away presents?
“I guess he could give back all the gifts that he hasn’t drunk already,” Schulman said.