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October 26, 2010

Bruce Bochy


Q. Have you decided on a World Series roster yet?
BRUCE BOCHY: No, we have not. I'll get with Brian after the workout and we'll get the roster set. We have a good idea, but we're going to sit down after our quick round of hitting and have it set.

Q. Can you indicate whether or not there's going to be any changes from the last two rounds?
BRUCE BOCHY: You know what, I think it's going to be real close. I'll leave it at that.

Q. I know this team has been real interesting to manage with the different people moving in and out and everything. You think about baseball a lot, I know you live across the street. How many hours a day do you not think about baseball given what you've had to do with this team?
BRUCE BOCHY: There's not many hours that go by you don't think about the team or the lineup. You know, it's ongoing. That's part of managing, you know, whether tonight, some days I'll go out and walk down to the wharf and I'm thinking about it then. It's constantly with you, especially this time of year.
But really it started probably in early August. I mean, that's when it really picks up there. And even during the course of the year, there's always something you're thinking about, something that you can maybe help with the club, whether it's lineup changes, things like that.

Q. Your favorite part about that? What's your favorite part about thinking about it?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I think with this team is we have so many movable parts with the flexibility we have, you know, moving guys around. It's nice to have that luxury. If a guy needs a day or he's not quite 100 percent, you can get creative with this team, and that's probably the best part.

Q. You're known as a fairly low-key guy and yet a couple of your players made reference to the Braveheart story in LA. What was the genesis of that? And what do you think it accomplished?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, at that time it was a critical part of the season, and so in a meeting we had, you try to have a little fun with it, too, although that wasn't meant to be a funny thing, but also get them to relax but also see what certain people do in critical times and how they handle it and how they take action. And so that was the gist of the meeting. And we talked about a lot of things, but we were in LA at the time, a critical road trip. From there we were going to Arizona, then down to San Diego for four.
I really thought that was probably -- that road trip would be the turning point in our season, and it was Braveheart time at that time.

Q. How did the addition of Javier Lopez, what did it allow you to do with your bullpen?
BRUCE BOCHY: Javy Lopez?

Q. Yeah.
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, having Javier down there gave us seventh, eighth-inning guy to help out from the left side. So it allows you to use some guys in the sixth and seventh inning to get some important outs there. And it also allows you to get match-ups in the eighth. If they have some left-handers and right-handers coming up we can use him and Romo, Casilla, Ramirez to help get to Wilson. But he certainly helped bridge the gap to get to Brian Wilson.

Q. With the lefties that they're going to throw at you, do you imagine you might have some maybe non-traditional lineups? And do you expect that Torres will start both games?
BRUCE BOCHY: Again, I can answer that a little bit later. The lineup you'll probably see get tweaked a little bit with the left-handers, though, as we did when Hamels was throwing against us.
Again, you're going with match-ups, how lefties handle certain lefties. I know they have a couple going against us the first two games. You could see it tweaked a little bit.
Now, as far as Torres, I'll know more tomorrow.

Q. You have been at this stage before, could you talk a little bit about the similarities between this team and those 1998 San Diego Padres. And how much is that experience going to help you now in this World Series?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, the '98 team was an outstanding team. We had a great year there, a great group. Any time you get to this point, you've had a good year, you've had a great club, and this is where we're at with this team. This is a very good club, a great club that finds a way to get it done.
Now, the difference is we don't do things easy here. They went down two the last game, and you looked at the playoffs, we probably went in as underdogs a little bit more this year. And it's a different group of guys but similar in the respect in how they play the game, and that's go out there and play to win.

Q. You've seen the entire evolution of Tim Lincecum as a Major Leaguer. How impressed are you with him that he deals with being Timmy and all the success he's had and a little bit of the failure he's had this year and how he works in this environment with the Giants and really in San Francisco?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, Timmy really I think has matured so much, not just as a pitcher but how he handles things. And when you're tested, you only get stronger, and he was certainly tested a couple months ago. I know there were questions about where Timmy was physically, mentally, and we all have our ups and downs. I've talked about this many times, and what's important is how you deal with it. Timmy just hasn't had to deal with the down periods very often.
I think coming out of that, he's even stronger in how he handles things and his perspective on everything, and he's, I think, a better player because of what he went through.

Q. How important was Javier Lopez in beating the Phillies? And I assume you see him in the same kind of role against Josh Hamilton. How do you like that match-up?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, we have a couple left-handers that will help out there, talking about Javier. It's hard to say where we would be if we didn't have him in that Phillies series with the job he did late in the ballgame against their big left-handed bats, and really not just in that series, but since we got him in August, we didn't have a left-hander, and we worked him pretty hard and he really contributed to a lot of wins because of the job that he did.
And not just lefties; he did a pretty good job against right-handers, too, which allowed me to run him through some right-handed bats, too, and just keep him against the left-handers now. He's got what you like out there late in the ballgame. There's no fear, he's going to throw strikes, he's going to go after the hitters, and he's got great stuff.

Q. Your pitching staff is getting so much credit. What part of that credit does Dave Righetti deserve? And specifically what has he done to bring this group along?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I think you have to look at Dave Righetti as a guy that's really molded this staff and developed these young arms. And except for Barry Zito, they've come up through our system. So I think our player development people deserve credit. You look at what they've done here, you have to look at Dave Righetti and how he's handled these guys and made them better pitchers. He's got a great way about him, not just working on the side with them, but he has the ability to get inside their head and develop that confidence that they need to have, and this guy to me deserves all the credit with the success that these pitchers have.

Q. Just from a mentoring standpoint what type of influence has Bengie Molina had on Buster Posey, not just as a teammate but as a coach?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I'll say this: Both of them were here, Bengie was spending time with Buster, he wanted to do all he could to help him and mentor him, and there's no friction there. He knew when Buster was coming up he would get some catching time, and he did all he could to help him and advise him and teach him some things.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about what it means to you to be in the World Series?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, this is what you strive for every year. But it goes back to when you're a young kid. Playing wiffle ball in the backyard or Little League, whatever it is, you're always picturing yourself or having this vision of being in the World Series. And then as you get older you realize how big this stage is. I'll never forget the first time I was in the World Series. I wasn't playing, but I was with the '84 Padres, and you realize this is your dream. This is what you play for.
Every player says that, you know, even the guys who win the awards and get their accolades. You always hear them say, I want to get to the World Series. This is what the game is about, and it means a lot to me. It's been 12 years since I've been here, and you realize how hard it is to get here, you know, starting from Spring Training. It's not easy. You've got to get to the post-season, you've got to go through two tough teams to get here. It's a tough road. And when you get here, I think you need to step back and realize how hard it is and appreciate it and enjoy the moment and realize what it takes to get here.

Q. You've got a few days before you need to write a DH into your lineup, but what do you see as some of your options at that position?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, there's a few options. Pat Burrell, he's going to be a name that's mentioned. I don't have the DH set, but he DH'd there with Tampa Bay we know. Pablo Sandoval is an option. Another option would be Aubrey Huff who's done some DHing, and that would allow me to put a left-handed bat in there if I wanted with Ishikawa. So these are things we're talking about.

Q. Lee has made three starts this post-season, how valuable would it be for your hitters to look at video of those starts given how well he's pitched and given that basically the hitters on those videos aren't having too much success?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, you know, when you have a guy that's pitching as well as he is, you get all the information you can, and sure, you're watching video. But still, when a pitcher has the kind of stuff that he has and he's locating his four pitches, it's a tough match. It's all about competing. You know your hitters look forward to the challenge of facing one of the hottest pitchers ever in post-season. That's how well he's throwing the ball. And coming into this, we've been facing some great pitchers, so these guys will be up there competing.

Q. You guys have added so many parts over the course of the season since Spring Training, and people have really come together to form a remarkably cohesive clubhouse. How much facilitation did you do over the course of the summer to kind of get that process moving?
BRUCE BOCHY: It's hard to quantify that. When you have a lot of changes, it takes everybody to buy into what you're doing. And as I've said before, it changed some roles with some of the players, and I've really admired how they've handled it. It's not easy when you have to check your ego aside and ask what's best for the club. And these guys did it with the changes that we made.
It doesn't matter what you do as a manager; it's going to be up to the player, how he accepts it, his different role or new role, and that's really what it comes down to, and I can't say enough about those guys in the clubhouse, including Pat Burrell. He wasn't getting playing time at first, but he was staying ready and doing what he could to help the club.
Cody Ross, he's another guy that came over here that was accustomed to playing every day, and it changed. But he stayed ready, and when he got his chance, he forced the issue and now he's our everyday right fielder. And the other guys I mentioned, Rowand and Renteria, they've all done a great job. And you're grateful for that because it makes the task of managing a lot less daunting when you have a group of guys out there that all have the same goal, and that's get to post-season.

Q. It's been 12 years since Tino Martinez, and I'm wondering how often do you think about that even now? And do you see this opportunity to win a World Series any differently for what happened the previous time?
BRUCE BOCHY: You know, I really hadn't thought about it in quite a while. It took a while to get over that pitch. You see it in your sleep over the winter. But you know, you've got to move on.
But I will say a couple days ago or a couple nights ago I saw them replaying it and you saw the pitch, and it looks even better now to me than it did then. But you've got to move on. It's part of the game, and as far as that experience, how it's going to help here, you know, you learn that sometimes the ball doesn't bounce your way. The calls don't go your way. But you can't let that distract you and you've got to put it behind you.
To be honest, that probably bothered the whole club, not just me, quite a bit, and it was talked about maybe a little too much at that time.

Q. What is it about players, unsung players that come on and perform in the post-season? You've had Cody Ross this year, he was the NLCS MVP, you had Sterling Hitchcock in '98 rise up and he was the MVP. What do you think is in the makeup of these guys that they rise up in these situations unexpectedly?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, first of all, the two players you mentioned are good players, Hitchcock and Cody Ross. Sterling at that time was one of our main starters, and Cody is an everyday guy that's put up some pretty good numbers.
But you know, it's all about handling the situation, dealing with the bigness of the game. These guys have to be able to handle it.
You know, part of this game -- you have to have talent but you have to have that mental toughness that goes with playing this game, and the last thing is emotional control, performing under pressure. All those things come into play with good players, and Sterling had it, Cody Ross. They want to be out there, and there's no fear in these guys, and that's why I think they shine once they get a chance.

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