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December 5, 2006
Q. Ozzie Guillen is at the other table. Can you be as controversial as him for us?
BRUCE BOCHY: Where is he? I'm going to have to holler at him.
Q. Are you feeling better about things from a position standpoint taking shape?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, I think we all do. We've had some key signings here this past week, and looks like the infield is set. That's big. I mean, a couple weeks ago there were a lot of questions being answered, now they're starting to get answered, and so we're getting some great things done.
Next week you'll see some more signings.
Q. To people unfamiliar with you, how would you describe your managerial style? Obviously it depends on your personnel, but what are you all about on the field?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, as far as style, I think the best way I can say it is I play to win. I like to win. I mean, like any manager, you're going to -- hopefully you're on the aggressive side. But I like for the players to go out there and play the game right, play hard for nine innings and we'll see what happens. That's what's important. I think every time we hit the field -- really besides that, I don't know if my style -- I've been described as a players' manager. I believe in letting them go. As long as they do things right and play the game the right way, stay out of their way. If things are going well, it's important to let them go.
Q. The moves so far have been on the sort of position player front. When you look at the pitching staff, and you've seen a lot of these guys obviously from the other side, what do you think needs to be added? Is a starter or reliever the biggest priorities?
BRUCE BOCHY: I think we're looking at both our starting situation and in the bullpen. I think anything he can do to improve our staff on both sides, the starting and the relievers, he's going to do it. That's where he's concentrating on now. You're always trying to get better, improve. I mean, every club is. I think it's evident that we still need another starter and probably another arm in the bullpen.
Q. I mean, there have been a lot of guys, the younger guys, that have been moved in and out of positions, Hennessey, Correia. Anything you've formed impressions of over the past couple years that you think, I'd like to see this guy more in this role?
BRUCE BOCHY: We've talked about it. We've discussed guys, Hennessey, Correia, Sanchez, trying to -- what would be their best role. Dave Righetti and I have talked about it. These are things we'll continue to talk about as we go into Spring Training, and I think we can answer that a little bit better as far as who is exactly on the staff. But these are ongoing discussions.
At this point it's hard to really pencil in who's going to be starting or which guys are going to the bullpen.
Q. With Sanchez, they used him as a reliever out of necessity last year, but clearly toward the end of the year, they had sort of made the decision they really wanted him to start. Are you guys leaning that way?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, maybe a slight leaning that way. We've been talking about that. I mean, he's very valuable part of our staff that we know could either start or really help us in a setup-type situation. We're discussing that right now.
Again, depending on what happens here, up to Spring Training, we'll know more where we'll put him.
Q. What's the slight leaning for Correia if there is one?
BRUCE BOCHY: I'd say in the bullpen. That's where I think everybody feels that that's the best fit. He did a great job there last year, pitching a lot of big important innings, and did well. It's a case where he's had success there and you don't want to mess with it.
Q. Are you staying in San Diego?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I'm going up to San Francisco next week and we're going to look around, my wife and I, but I'm going to keep my base right now in San Diego, but we're going to look up there and decide what we're going to do.
Q. It's been said that there will be a clear-cut favorite in this division in '07.
BRUCE BOCHY: I don't know if I feel that way. I still think it's going to be a very balanced division and has been the last couple years. I think it's going to remain that way. I think you can look at every club and say, hey, if things go right for them, they can win this division. We certainly feel that way.
I don't know if there will be a clear-cut favorite unless in the next couple weeks somebody does something to stand out above the rest of us.
Q. How do you make the transition? Is it a slow one? In your mind is it already happening?
BRUCE BOCHY: It's already happening. I mean, it's been an easy transition. I've been very comfortable with the change. I will say the Japan trip probably came at a good time for me, gave me time to just get away for a little bit and probably spend a little bit more time away from phones and other things. Whenever you make a change, a lot of people look for jobs and things, but they got me away and allowed me to spend some time looking at the things in their organization.
It's been a very easy transition, a lot easier than a lot of people think because I was in one place so long, but I've been very comfortable with the change, too, because they're in our division, I know this division, I know a lot about the Giants players. I'm learning a lot more than what I knew obviously. I know Brian Sabean and the rest of his staff have been great to me. Fortunately Pat Dobson, who I knew well, we lost him. Pat lived in San Diego, so he was a guy I was talking to quite a bit. It certainly was a huge loss for us.
Q. You didn't know how sick he was, did you?
BRUCE BOCHY: No, I had no idea to be honest. He flew up with me, and he didn't let -- if he was sick, he didn't let us know. That was a very difficult loss.
Q. He flew up with you for your interview?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yes, he flew up with me.
Q. Do you think you would have taken the Giants job if not for his influence and his counsel?
BRUCE BOCHY: I can't say that I wouldn't have. He was instrumental, and like I said at the press conference, when I talked to Brian, I knew that this felt like a great fit for me at this time. Pat Dobson certainly was instrumental.
Q. Did the Padres tell you you could come back for the one year, or was there a choice for that?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, I had one year left.
Q. They weren't intending on not bringing you back for the year?
BRUCE BOCHY: Oh, yeah.
Q. Was there ever a question of extending your contract there or had they told you it was going to be the one year?
BRUCE BOCHY: They just said you have a year left. The organization was not planning on extending. I didn't ask for an extension. That was not the situation at all. They just said that there are clubs that have interest. I wasn't looking to make a change, but when Brian Sabean called, I've always loved the city, I've always admired the franchise, and so I listened. Like I said, once I sat down with Brian, the more I knew that this would be a great fit for me.
Q. Kevin Towers mentioned that you talked to David Wells and maybe tried to throw your pitch out to him to come up to San Francisco. Do you think you could get him to change his mind?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, I don't know. Boomer, it's hard to know what he's thinking sometimes. He definitely, I think, has changed his mind about retiring, and it looks like he has interest in pitching again.
I think a lot of David Wells. He still has a great arm. I'd love to talk him into coming up and joining us.
Q. He's retired as many times as Clemens now, hasn't he?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, in fact, he was getting on Seau, so he can't get on him anymore.
Q. Every manager would love a lineup that they can just throw out the same lineup every day. It looks like the roster is being shaped as a complementary roster. Is it more challenging for a manager to have to do that on a daily basis or do you like the way it's shaping up?
BRUCE BOCHY: I like the way it's shaping up. I think if you look at our lineup, our club, it's going to be obvious our bench is going to play a major role in our season. These guys are going to get playing time because a lot of those guys are going to get some days off. It's going to be important to keep them fresh and strong throughout the season. Pretty much across the board, those guys are going to get some time off and we'll be depending on our bench guys and the versatility of some players that we have like a Rich Aurilia and a Pedro Feliz. In fact, they can play multiple positions.
Q. Are you optimistic about having Barry there in the middle of your lineup?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, I have no reason not to be at this point. I know his part of baseball, the negotiations, but I know Brian is talking to Barry and his agent as I speak right now. I have no reason not to be optimistic.
Q. It's going to be nice if you don't have to pitch to him?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, he's probably going to miss that because we probably pitched to him more than anybody.
Q. The record shows that, that's for sure.
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah.
Q. What would you like to see get done most with the Giants in terms of the biggest hole in the club right now? If you could be the general manager, what would your first move be?
BRUCE BOCHY: I think it's fair to say we're still looking at left field. We haven't gotten somebody signed there yet. Like I said, a starter, I think Brian is looking for another reliever to help out there. From that point you're going to fill out the bench.
Q. At the very beginning you said that you thought we'd see more signings next week. Is there stuff that's on the fast track?
BRUCE BOCHY: No. It's probably slowing down a little bit, but there are some things I know that they've been discussing. They're getting close on some things. I wouldn't be surprised to see in the next two, three days another signing or two.
Q. Have you had the chance to talk to Barry or do you want to talk to Barry?
BRUCE BOCHY: No. I left a message, but I have not spoken to Barry yet.
Q. When did you leave the message, recently?
BRUCE BOCHY: No, this was after I became manager I left a message, and I said at some point let's sit down and talk.
Q. If he was in your lineup are you kind of of the thought that Barry lets you know if he feels available or you write him in and if he says he can't go, he can't go?
BRUCE BOCHY: You know, until I have him there, I mean, I'm not going to go on what's happened in the past. We'll wait and see what happens there with Barry and then I'll answer that.
Q. Do you feel like since he's still unsigned you need to recruit him a little bit?
BRUCE BOCHY: You know, sure. That's probably part of our plan as an organization is still trying to get him to come back. He's wanted, but there are negotiations. That's part of it.
BRUCE BOCHY: You know what, I can't say for sure. I mean, right now it looks like Aurilia is going to get playing time there, the bulk of the playing time. I can't answer that.
Q. You often said in San Diego how lucky you felt that your whole career you had Trevor closing for you. How is that going to feel?
BRUCE BOCHY: I still realize how lucky I was because he's one of the best ever. That's an area we know we have to improve on and I have not had a chance to speak to Armando. He's out of the country right now. It's an area that needs improvement, but I think he has the stuff -- it all depends on his health, his knee. He certainly has the arm to bounce back and have a good year.
That's a vital part of the game. That's why we want to improve the bullpen and close out some games.
Q. Aside from leaving a message for Barry, have you done the same for a lot of other guys on the team?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, I've spoken to a lot of them.
BRUCE BOCHY: Omar I've spoken to. A lot of them I have and some of them I've missed and left messages and will continue to call until I connect with everybody.
Q. What do you want to see from Randy next year? His numbers weren't what they were.
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, everybody has a little bit of a down year occasionally. He's a great player. He can play anywhere in the outfield. He's very versatile as far as where you hit him in the lineup, switch-hitter, and I'm excited to have him. I think he's coming here tomorrow, so I'm hoping to get a little time to talk to him.
Randy is a guy that I think any manager would love to have because you put him anywhere in the outfield and you pretty much hit him anywhere in the lineup from leadoff throughout the order, so a very valuable member of our club.
Q. (Inaudible) maybe you as a manager would imagine using maybe not the best player in the game. Do you ever think about when you're in San Diego (Inaudible)?
BRUCE BOCHY: No, that was always what we talked about was a need, what it would be like to have an impact player like a Bonds. There are very few of them, the Pujolses now, the Howards now, there's not a lot of them around. But they definitely make a lineup better. They're your go-to guy. A lot of clubs don't have one, but the ones that do have them usually have success because of their impact and the fact that they make everybody else around them better. Barry, believe me, I saw firsthand what he can do by himself. Those guys can carry a ball club.
Q. Last year I think he had 12 intentional walks in April and one in September. I mean, that's pretty steep. Managers started pitching to him. Do you still see him being that presence, that on-base presence?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, we all get a little bit older. I mean, that's a fact of life. It's hard for any player to keep up what he's been doing, that he has been doing in baseball. Barry still, I mean, he showed in the second half that he has a lot of baseball left and can still do amazing things with the bat. To continue to have the type of seasons he had had there, I don't think there's a human that could do that. He's still a very, very productive player.
Q. Did you even foresee him playing beyond next year?
BRUCE BOCHY: I can't answer that.
Q. If he has the desire?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, sure, sure. We saw he still has the bat speed and the power. Sure, I could see him playing beyond next year.
Q. Would you be okay with the high maintenance of it all?
BRUCE BOCHY: I'm not going to, again, pass judgment here on Barry Bonds, but yeah, I would look forward to managing him. I've had quite a few players over the years, Phil Nevin, Ricky Henderson, David Wells, Kevin Brown. These guys have all been good teammates. There's some things you can't believe everything you hear.
Q. Have you allowed yourself the luxury yet of mentally writing out a lineup with this club yet?
BRUCE BOCHY: No, I'm trying, to be honest, to stay away from it until we get the club pretty much set or finalized here. Sure, I mean, it's human nature to think about it a little bit. But no, I don't have one right now that I'm going to -- obviously Robert is here and look at the lead-off spot, Vizquel is going to be up there, of course Durham, and more than likely Feliz will be in that seven hole. But as far as the rest of it, I'll wait and see exactly where we're at.
Q. It looks like chances are pretty much zero that Jason Schmidt is going to be back. Do you see Cain as being a guy who's ready physically, mentally to be a No. 1 guy, a guy you can give the opening?
BRUCE BOCHY: I think so. I mean, Dave and I will talk about it, as we have already, but I certainly saw enough last year. We went in last year to play y'all, and he responded very well. He shut out -- B.B. went against him and he shut us down. I think this kid has shown his toughness and how well he competes. I think he's shown he can pretty much handle anything thrown at him.
Q. The Giants always have high expectations of making the postseason. It seems like they're in transition. I was wondering if there's any feelings that maybe it is a process and maybe it won't be there right away. Do you go in thinking playoffs?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, yeah, we are. I certainly am not going to go into a season thinking that we're not going to be in the playoffs. I think anybody should go in feeling that way. You look at the club, I mean, we've got a lot of guys signed this week, a lot of good players signed. I think it's going to be up to us to believe that we can get back to postseason, and that's what we plan on doing.
Q. Were you surprised last year how many games Bonds was able to play?
BRUCE BOCHY: You know, I know the year before was a tough year for him, but no, I wasn't surprised. It's evident this guy works hard. I mean, you look at the shape he's in. No, I wasn't surprised. He has a lot of pride and it shows because I know first half things didn't go real well for him, but he bounced back to have a good year.
Q. Do you guys have a relationship?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, we've spoken to each other and obviously have known each other, gone against each other, but no, I can't say we ever have a relationship so to speak where we spent a lot of time together.
BRUCE BOCHY: I spoke to him about that, and he was adamant about not being chosen to be on that team, and he was great. He said, hey, you need to take someone that deserves to be there. It came down to Kent who made it, but Richie and Ortiz. Ortiz could have been on that team. I had Giles, too, who I didn't take from Pittsburgh, and he was having a big year. He's still not talking to me (laughter). You know that thing about people only stay mad so long, don't believe them. Some of them don't get over it.
Q. Is Klesko a guy that still could be an option to help you out at first base part-time?
BRUCE BOCHY: He's out there, he's a free agent, he's a name that we have discussed. I can't say there's anything close.
End of FastScripts