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October 26, 2014

Bruce Bochy


Q. You guys are doing it a little differently than most teams.  You're going to fly out tomorrow as opposed to after the game tonight.  Could you just talk a little bit about why you make that choice and what you think the benefits are?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, it's been our routine.  It's been that way for a couple years now, not just in the postseason, but during the season that's how we've been doing things.  We're not going to change.  We'll get to Kansas City 4:00, 4:30, and we'll head to the park and work out.
We do it to try to keep the players on a normal routine.  That's pretty much it.  It's simple.  The guys like it.  They seem to prefer it now that they've been doing it.  So they get to sleep in their own bed tonight and we'll leave tomorrow around 11:00.

Q.  Before last game I noticed you guys were pretty loose.  Was that true, and is that just the nature of this team?  Is it the way you prefer to be or do you want them to be however they naturally are?  And are they loose today?
BRUCE BOCHY:  No, it is a loose group here.  They've been through this.  The only way to play this game is to have the looseness and freedom to be yourself, be who you are, and that's what I prefer, the staff and the players.  I've got a good group in there, and I've got a few guys in there to make sure they stay loose with different things that they do.  They have fun with it.
In this game, you take the game seriously, but you can't take yourself so seriously.  You have to loosen up and have fun, and these guys do a good job of it.

Q.  After the Giants acquired Hunter Pence, how soon did it take you to see that you had a special player and person?  And how would you describe his uniqueness as an individual?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, I saw it from watching him on the other side, the way he played the game.  I've even had other managers tell me they love watching him.  They appreciate the way he plays.  Then once we got him, he was every bit what I thought he was, a guy that came out to play every day, 100% in everything he does.  That's why we call him "Full Throttle".  He's unique.  He's entertaining, we say, on how he does things.  But he has a big heart, very passionate about the game.
As I've said so many times, he's the lowest maintenance player I've ever had.  I just put him in the lineup, and he's a guy that I would pay to watch play because of his effort every day.  He's tireless, and he cares about the game, about winning, and he really cares about his teammates.

Q.  How are the personalities of this team different from 2012 and 2010?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, I think similar to those teams, we're a very diverse group.  We have a lot of different personalities.  I think diversity is a beautiful thing, if you learn to appreciate it, and these guys appreciate each other and the fact that they are a little different.  But they don't let the fact that they are different rankle them.  They enjoy each other.  I think they learn from each other, and the fact that they are different.  They maybe do something on the field a little bit different, but they learn to get better from their teammates.
I think if you look at '10 at what we call "The Misfits" or '12 that are similar, this group has a lot of unique personalities.

Q.¬† You always hear players talk about appreciating this opportunity because you don't know when it might come around again.¬† From manager's standpoint, when you think back to 1998 versus now, what do you appreciate more? ¬†What do you have more time‑‑ maybe whether it's collecting something or talking to people you don't usually see at the ballpark, or anything you can adjust differently to make sure you enjoy this experience beyond just managing?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, it is a long time in between getting to the World Series from '98 to 2010.  You have to remind yourself how difficult this is.  I mean, you have to be thankful and I think grateful.  For me, it's Brian Sabean that's given us resources, ownership, and my staff.  But at the same time you need to take it in because you know how tough it is, and you don't know when you're going to come back.
Now, we're pretty lucky, I think, to have the type of players that we have here to get us here three times in five years. ¬†I think each time you try to take in a little bit more.¬† I try to bring all my family out, so I can spend more time with them and spend more time with people at the ballpark.¬† I know in 2010‑‑ I'll go back to '98, too.¬† You're caught into the game and everything that goes with it, but at the same time you need to step back and appreciate everything that's happened for you to be on this stage.

Q.  With all that Brandon Belt has gone through this year with the injury, the concussion, and that just kind of lasting a long time, how concerned were you that he was going to make this run into October with you?  And then how important has he been that he's there every day in this postseason run?
BRUCE BOCHY:¬† Yeah, I was concerned because that concussion came back a second time.¬† We didn't know how he would have the time to get ready for postseason.¬† He was a little rusty at first, but he got three or four games under him.¬† You could see him getting more and more comfortable.¬† The speed of the game started slowing down for him.¬† The concussion became a non‑issue with him.
Really, he came around at the right time, the time when we really needed him and he started finding his swing.  He started getting comfortable.  His energy level really picked up.  So I'm really thankful for the fact that he did come around and for Brandon.  I'm sure he had some doubts because when that concussion came back the second time, I'm sure things were going through his head.  "Am I going to have to deal with this all year, maybe the winter?"  But it worked out great.

Q.  Ned was in here before using words like, "I'm having a blast.  Having a lot of fun."  Is it the same for you?
BRUCE BOCHY:¬† Yeah, I think you have to.¬† It's intense out there, but you have to, as I said, remind yourself where you're at and enjoy the moment, be in the moment.¬† You look around and you see your Hall of Famers out there, ex‑teammates are coming out, pulling for you, family.¬† So this is a fun time.¬† I know for myself, as I said from '98 to 2010, each one I think you learn to enjoy more and take it in more.

Q.  Gregor was just in here talking about the responsibility of being the leadoff hitter.  He was under a lot of criticism filling that role during the season.  You came under a lot of criticism about your lineup.  What has he shown you in the postseason here in that position?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, he's shown that he has tremendous talent defensively and also things he can do at the plate.  Now he's a guy that's one of our catalysts.  He's a guy that it seems like when he goes, we really go.  It's a nice luxury to have when you lose Pagan and you have a guy that can fill that void.
But he's also shown some mental toughness, because you're right, he had a lot of pressure on him.  Our leadoff spot, I was trying Blanco, Pence.  And I really thought Blanco was our best answer, but he was having his struggles at the time.  Now you're getting some negative criticism, but he handled that well, and he kept working.  He finally started settling down and finding ways to get on base for us, and that takes mental toughness.  This kid has been through it.  He helped us in 2012, and he's done a great job.

Q.  We saw Lincecum get sick, Morse, Sandoval, is there something that's been going through with your players?  And have other guys been affected by it?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Yeah, I'm concerned about it.  I hope this crud doesn't run throughout the clubhouse.  Pablo, I don't think he had the same thing that Morse did.  Morse had a fever.  Pablo did throw up, but he felt great after that (laughter).  It's amazing how fast he came around.  But Timmy did the same thing after whatever he had.  He felt great.
You're always are a little concerned when you've got some stuff going around.  But we'll keep an eye on them.  Right now they all seem to be doing fine.  Morse is doing better.  I think he was a little washed out yesterday, but he seems to be doing much better.

Q.  You've gotten some nice contributions from bench guys, particularly Arias and Duffy last night.  How important is it to get something from everybody on the roster, and how do you get them ready for that role at this stage?
BRUCE BOCHY:¬† Right.¬† Well, what happened last night, those are the type of things that win games for you, especially when you're behind.¬† We talk about Petit and of course Pablo had a big day, and the different things that happened in that game.¬† But I look at two pinch‑hitters that got us going in that game:¬† Duffy led off the game, he scores, now we make it 4‑2.¬† That's a little easier to come from behind on.¬† Then Arias in a tie game, he goes up there and gets a base hit.¬† Those are igniters that seemed like it got us rolling.¬† That's what the bench does.¬† It takes contribution from everybody.
But your bench, and I've said this earlier in the season, plays such a critical role in your success during the season, but I think especially in the postseason, too.

Q.  I don't mean this as a facetious question, but when do you have time to think?  You mentioned all the family and the friends around and all this has been going on all month.  Do you schedule yourself like some quiet time to sit and think about stuff that's going to happen during games?  I know you meet with your staff every day.  What is that schedule like?  Do you meet with the staff daily and do you set aside time for yourself to think?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, like today, I came in early before the club got here, so I would have that time to go through the game, the lineup, all the different things that I need to think about even before the staff gets here.  So that's my quiet time.

Q.  What time?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, today I came over here at 10:30.

Q.  How long do you give yourself time to think?
BRUCE BOCHY:  I start meeting with guys around 12:15, 12:30.  And media, that run starts at 12:45 up to this point here.  So it gives me enough time to kind of get my thoughts and relax a little bit, because you are spending time with the family and your friends.
It's funny, when you are spending time with them after a game, they like to run through the whole game with you like you weren't there (laughter).  I have to remind them I was there.  Let's talk about something else right now (laughter).  That's why I like to get here early, so I don't have to go through the game.

Q.  You mentioned Duffy's pinch hit.  After the frustrating Royals' rally, could have gotten the final out on several occasions, just how big was it to even get the one run in the bottom of the third inning after that?
BRUCE BOCHY:¬† Well, like I said, I thought that was really such an important run because now it's three runs, two runs, that's a big difference, especially going against their staff.¬† It seemed like it changed the momentum and the confidence of the club.¬† That's a tough inning what we had.¬† You give up four runs and now you're down 4‑1, so you come right back and you get a run.¬† So you punch back a little bit, and that's always important in this game.

Q.  You said a few minutes ago that you allow yourself to take a step back once in a while and take all of this in, I think that's how you phrased it.  When that happens, is there something specific that you do that a fan would do?  Autographs, selfies, anything like that, taking it into a higher level?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Yeah, I mean, you try to spend time with fans when you can.  It's such a busy time and now there are so many of them that, unfortunately you have so much to do and you can't stop sometimes.  You feel bad about that because the time it's going to take to get a picture or sign all the autographs.  Most of that you try to do later, I mean, after the season or during the season.  The demands on your time, you just don't quite have that time.
Now, I know during the National Anthem I've got things going through my head there and what I'm thinking ‑ a lot of people, family, and you just learn to appreciate everything when you're looking out there and realize you're in the World Series.

Q.  What have you seen different about Jake in his last few starts?  He hasn't gone too deep, and you had to go get him, I think, in the 6th inning the other day.  Is it a long season for him?  Is he struggling?  What do you expect out of him in Game 6?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, he's been so good for us since we've got him over here.  His last start, the first two innings he was trying to get settled in, and he was missing spots.  Then he really threw the ball well.  Now he's given up two runs going into the 6th inning.  So that's pretty good.
Now, I took him out, but maybe he could have gotten out of that.  His pitch count was good, but I thought overall his last game, especially 3, 4, 5 innings, that's the Jake that we know.
But he's fine.  He's healthy, and we're all going to have a hiccup here or there.

Q.  Pablo Sandoval seems every time that he rises to the occasion; special moments he gets a base hit.  How does he compare to the best players you've had in that regard?  And how does he manage to do that all the time?
BRUCE BOCHY:  He's right up there with some of the great players I've had, the great talents.  I think good players, great players have a way of rising to the occasion, and he's one of those players.  I think one reason is how much he loves being out there.  He loves this stage.  He loves baseball.  You know him, he has that enthusiasm, that infectious laugh when he's out there in the dugout.  He's a very loose guy that has a lot of fun playing.  He's not a guy that puts pressure on himself, but your good players do that, and he's a really good player.

Q.  You had Lincecum up a couple times last night.  Does that at all affect his availability today?  And maybe not today, but is he a guy you could go two, three innings with down the road?
BRUCE BOCHY:  I think so.  I don't think the pitches that he threw getting up yesterday is going to affect him on him being available today.  The one thing about Timmy, as you know, he doesn't throw a lot of pitches to get ready, even when he starts.  He's fast.  15, 18 pitches, and he's ready to go.  He knows when he goes out there, he gets eight pitches.  So he's just blessed with a resilient arm, a loose arm that gets ready quick.  He doesn't have to throw a lot to get ready.

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