Former Giants manager Bruce Bochy hints he may not be permanently retired
SAN FRANCISCO — If retirement goes as planned for former Giants manager Bruce Bochy, it’s a period of his life that won’t last long.
Bochy is already talking about going back to work.
During an appearance with Chris “Mad Dog” Russo on SiriusXM Radio Thursday, Bochy explained that he does have a desire to manage again.
“I’m just hitting the pause button,” Bochy told Russo. “That’s all, you know, I’m taking a sabbatical here for a year and then, you know, I’ll see where I’m at. I don’t know how I’m going feel but I’d love to have one more shot.”
For much of his final season with the Giants -and especially during his last month- Bochy was asked if he would ever consider managing again. He often spoke about how he was “good with my decision,” and said he was looking forward to time away from baseball, but many close to Bochy believe he has much more left to offer as a manager.
“I think he could do it for a lot longer if he wanted to,” catcher Buster Posey said in September. “It’s up to him whether he wants to do it. I know he’s got a few grandkids now and hopefully he gets to spend some time with them too.”
Bochy never went as far as calling his decision to step away a “sabbatical,” but he rarely used the word “retire” after doing so when he made his initial announcement in February.
Many Giants fans have wondered if Bochy was forced out of his position by new president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, but Bochy said during spring training that he considered stepping away during a challenging 2018 season.
Bochy realized that the Giants were unlikely to contend for the next few years and felt he was putting the organization in a position to prioritize its future by leaving his position. Regardless of whether there was turnover in the front office, Bochy appeared genuinely interested in taking at least a year away from the game to see what else life has to offer after 25 consecutive years as a big league manager.
It was Bochy who initially called the next phase of his life “retirement,” but his latest comments have given everyone reason to stop using the word to describe his decision. Whether he ultimately returns to managing again or not, it’s clear Bochy is determined to continue working in baseball into the future.
Bochy may be ready to begin interviewing for jobs as soon as next offseason, but he could have missed some golden opportunities to get back in the game by deciding to watch from the stands in 2020. The Phillies focused their entire search for a manager on experienced candidates while the Padres may have had interest in a potential reunion with Bochy, who spent the first 12 seasons of his career in San Diego.
Even the Cubs and Mets may have inquired about Bochy this fall as both clubs have front offices that are determined to contend sooner rather than later.
When Bochy does start to look for his next manager job, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if he avoided clubs in rebuilding mode. Bochy will turn 65 in April and knows better than anyone the toll that losing takes on a manager and his coaching staff.
In a moving speech following his last regular-season game with the franchise, Bochy addressed the home crowd at Oracle Park and said that he’ll always be a Giant. That might be the case, but it’s possible he’ll wind up wearing another team’s jersey before he ends up in the Hall of Fame.