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December 6, 2010

Bruce Bochy


Q. How has the off season been differently, specifically, having won the World Series for you?
BRUCE BOCHY: It's been a little busier to be honest. But a lot of it has been baseball related. We played into November. So we had a lot of work to do before these meetings. Getting rosters set. Talking about players, needs, things like that.
So Brian Sabean, myself, baseball operations, we've been having some conference calls almost every day. So it's been pretty busy in that respect.
On the other side, it's been busy too. The demands, you know. Trying to see some friends and people. It's been a lot busier. No getting around that.

Q. Does the euphoria and satisfaction wear off? Is it still there every day you think, man, we won the World Series?
BRUCE BOCHY: There are moments you do try to take a step back and realize what just happened.
I had a chance to look at the videos, the Giants videos, MLB a couple nights ago in San Francisco. You know, during those videos you get a chance to enjoy it, savor it. Not quite as nervous as you were when it was actually happening.
But a good time to sit back and get to watch replay of it. So I have had a chance to watch the games.

Q. If you proved anything last year, it's that roster construction continues past the winter meetings. Is that the mindset here this week?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, we have had a change already. Our shortstop, he went to L.A., so we're still trying to get the guys we need on this roster and get set with that. The great thing about our club is we have a lot of movable parts.

Q. Adrian Gonzalez and Mark Reynolds out of the division today. Does that change anything?
BRUCE BOCHY: No, it doesn't change anything with us. I mean, good players. Not surprising with Gonzalez. I think there's been talk about it.
Tremendous player. He played for me. I know him very well. I'll be honest, it's not sad to see him leave the division. I'm happy for him with his new deal, and he's going to help Boston. Reynolds is another great player that will help Baltimore.
But it doesn't change anything we do. We still have to construct our team and play in a very tough division.

Q. Speaking of movement, the Phillies is a team in the NLCS who loses Jayson Werth. How does that impact them? They've been among the better teams in the National League. You saw them up close, how much do you think that impacts them?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, there is no question. They're going to miss Jayson Werth. Great player on both sides of the ball. He runs well, has power. He hit in the heart of their order, fifth for the most part. So that's a hard player to replace. But they found a way to do it with other players whether Burrell, Rowand, you know. You move on. That's what they'll do.
They have a tremendous staff, tremendous ballclub, so they'll find a way. That's how good he I think they are. Washington got a great player.
There are some players that you look at there who can impact a team, and he's certainly one of them.

Q. You talk about teams moving on, obviously you guys have moved on from the shortstop position. How difficult for you was it in the minor leagues to see lots of big hits and a true professional?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, especially when you have such a great team to win the World Series, ideally you'd like to keep everybody. What they mean to you, and as hard as you fight during the course of the season and the journey that you're on, you become a family. To have Juan move on, sure, initially it hurts a little bit. You're going to miss him. He called me. I had a conversation with him, and it's part of the business. He got a great deal there in L.A. I'm happy for him. He got three years and he got what he was looking for.
But we had to move on, and turns out we signed a really good player in Tejada who happened to be available, so that helps us soften that blow when you lose a player like Juan. So Tejada will be a nice player to have. Not just on the field, but in the clubhouse. Very similar to Uribe.

Q. When did Juan call you, Bruce?
BRUCE BOCHY: Actually I talked to him a couple of times before he signed. Called me from the Dominican and just expressed his appreciation. How he was treated, and had a great time. But that he was -- he had moved on to the Dodgers and just wanted to thank me. And I said the same to him.
Like I said, you understand. It's part of the business. He was a free agent, and you're not going to sign them all. Certainly a guy that did a lot for us. We're champions partly because of what he did for us.

Q. If you had a wish list, I guess would a left-handed bat be on top of your list?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, that's what we've talked about, if there's a perfect scenario where we could have a left-handed bat. We do have a very good young player coming up, Brandon Bell, who could be that guy. He'll be in spring training. We'll take a look at him. He's similar to Aubrey Huff, he can play first, he can play outfield. So that would give us some flexibility, and a left-handed batter if that worked out.
But, again, you're looking at what you have. Pablo Sandoval could be that at-bat that we didn't have last year. We are hoping he comes back and becomes the player that he was the year before.

Q. Where did Bell play most of the fall?
BRUCE BOCHY: First base. But he is a pretty good outfielder from my reports the times he's been out there.

Q. Does it have to be a power bat or can it be like a high average type?
BRUCE BOCHY: Really either way. Just I don't think it so much has to be a power bat. But that would be nice to have. Those guys aren't all over the place, you know. But we just want to keep a balanced lineup that's what we talked about.
At times we felt we were too right-handed last year, and it caught up with us at times. We had trouble scoring runs. But with the crew that we have here, whether it's guys coming off the bench, they provided left-handed bats that we needed. Schierholtz, Ishikawa, Fontenot. But, again, we'll see what's available out there.

Q. How weary are you of counting too much on Torres and Rouse, and expecting them to repeat what they did last season?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, it won't be because they're complacent. I understand you're never, ever more vulnerable to complacency than when you win and you have a championship season. But you do have to be careful. You do have the potential to drop your guard. But a guy like Torres, sure, he does have a track record, but some guys emerge later on in their career. That's what we're hoping with Andres, he'll come back and be the player that he was the year before. The other guys have a track record. Cody Rouse was a good player before we got him, so that wasn't so freakish the fact that he got on a roll and had some base hits. He's done that for a while. That's why he's making pretty good money. So when you have guys who have done it, it's just like Aubrey Huff. I have people saying, wow, what a surprise he was. He's had some pretty good years.
You know what I mean? This guy has swung the bat well, so we feel like we have guys who have done it, have the experience. But on the other side getting back to Pablo, now we're hoping he becomes the player that he was.
We did this without Pablo being who we saw the year before.

Q. You got any reports on how he's doing a month into the season?
BRUCE BOCHY: Just that he's lost some weight. He's doing well. He's working hard. He's dropped over ten pounds, so that's good news already. He seems determined to get back to where he was.

Q. How many pounds do you think he needs to lose?
BRUCE BOCHY: He's got a little ways to go. I don't want to put a number, but he's still got probably 15 or so, somewhere in there.

Q. Bruce, your team won the World Series, so you obviously did a lot right as a manager. Is there anything in retrospect maybe you should have done a little different last season?
BRUCE BOCHY: Sure. I look at some of the games and I reflect back and say, well, I shouldn't have done that. Every manager does that. You know, you look at the third game against Atlanta. Took Sanchez out and the guy hits a home run.
Sure, you go, well, that didn't work out too well. But that's the beauty of this game. Whether it's fans or baseball experts or yourself, you're going to do that. You always want to be the best player or manager or coach that you can be, and you learn by I think looking back and saying, well, I had this option or that option. But hopefully you're prepared when you go in and you do what you think is right and it works out.

Q. You mentioned that it's easy to get complacent after you win. Do you approach it a little differently? Have you spoken to anybody, maybe some World Series managers on how they approach the season after they win?
BRUCE BOCHY: No, I haven't talked to any of the previous World Series champions, the managers we're talking about.
But it's something we'll address in spring training. You know, we like to think we've raised the bar on how we play the game, and we want to play at that level. You put a stake in the ground and you're hopefully making a mark. Keep that level of play that you want your guys to play at, and that's by going out there and playing the game right and playing it hard every day.
I'm confident in the guys that we have. They're not going to get complacent. They may lose a game, but it's not because of effort or not being prepared already.

Q. Considering the innings loaded, the starting pitchers we had last year, and the pitching is so deep in the postseason all the way. Might you approach spring training a little differently with your starters? Maybe it a little easier on them?
BRUCE BOCHY: It's hard to take it easy on them because you're getting them ready for the season. Now with that said, I'll keep an eye on these starters particularly because I'll think about the workload they carry the year before, and if there are times I can give them a break, I will.
But on the other hand too, my closer carried a pretty heavy workload too. We're going to bring him in. I don't know. I'll sit and see how he's going, how he feels. He's the guy we'll keep an eye on too. He's the horse through the season.

Q. Have there been a lot of repeat champions in the last 20 years. Do you see that as a result of the shortened off-season? Also the demands on a guy's time to come up here and be the Grand Marshal? I know I was talking to Aaron during the playoffs, during the World Series in my off-season. Their timing has been thrown pretty off by this in terms of preparing?
BRUCE BOCHY: It's not because you're pitching throughout the season. And usually if there's a change or two with every team, so I just don't think it's a case where you're playing deep in the season. You look at the Phillies, they went back-to-back there and they came up a little bit short. And they almost got there the third year.
So they're playing deep in the season every year. Their pitchers are making some changes. But their them to get close to being there ten years in a row, that says a lot.

Q. Do you think the division is kind of underrated? You look at Coors Field, which isn't Coors Field anymore, it's all pitchers' parks. You're not going to have monster numbers coming out of the National League West. But a pretty darn good division. Do you think it's underrated?
BRUCE BOCHY: It really is. I think it's pitching Rich. You look at what San Diego did, they weren't even supposed to be contesting, but I felt they would because the second half they had the year before.
But Colorado, Arizona's going to be better this year, L.A. I think it's the most balanced division, I do, in the National League.

Q. What's it been like seeing Adrian Gonzalez the last year?
BRUCE BOCHY: Oh, I think he can pepper that ball over there. He'll hit a lot of balls over the wall too. He goes the other way so well. That's so big for a left-hander. But good hitter, smart hitter way above average defender.

Q. Could Cody set in the outfield somewhere or is Pat pencilled into the left field?
BRUCE BOCHY: He'll be competing for that position. He's been told that. We get to spring training and we'll do it pretty much like we did last year, and we'll play who our hot bats are or who we think our best players are at that point. We've made some tough decisions, Rowand or Nate's going to be looking for more playing time out there. These guys did a great job of setting aside their own agendas as I've said earlier last year. They'll probably have to do it again this year.

Q. (Indiscernible)?
BRUCE BOCHY: I haven't spoken to him about that. It may be something that we'll continue to talk to him about. Keep an open mind about that.
We know Torres can do it, but it's something with where we may sit down with them about.

Q. Where does DeRosa fit in?
BRUCE BOCHY: He could be a super utility type guy, a point man competing for left field. He can play left. He can play second, play some third, first.
I see him as a guy that will move around a lot. He's had his best years doing that. He's comfortable doing it. He thrives on it. So he'll be moving around.

Q. Do you expect this to be another season of a lot of movable parts?
BRUCE BOCHY: It could be.

Q. Depending on righty, lefty?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, it could be. We may get to spring and say, hey, this is our set lineup, yeah. You know, if we have a lot of the same guys back, you know, Ishikawa, Schierholtz, and Pat, sure, I can see that happening.

Q. Out of all the things you've had an opportunity to do as a result of being a manager, what has been the neatest thing for you?
BRUCE BOCHY: I really haven't done anything.

Q. No?
BRUCE BOCHY: To be honest, no. We've been pretty busy with talking about other teams and getting prepared for the winter meetings. But right now there hasn't been anything that I can say has changed. A lot more requests and demands.
I mean, I'm getting letters from Wisconsin, people that don't even know that want to know if I'll speak to their Rotary Club, but I haven't done anything.

Q. Consider the source, okay, but Ozzie Guillen said I wish I were Bruce Bochy because there's nothing like being the manager of the team that just won the World Series. You feel like a diva? Do you feel like a diva? I'm thinking not.
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, you feel pretty good. It's a feeling that is so hard to describe. It's something you train and thrive for every year and you've done it. There's no question. It's a great sense of accomplishment. You're trying to enjoy. You're trying to savor.
Really, when this is over, I'll have a month or so where I can do some things that I want to do. But it's just been busy getting prepared for these meetings.
But he's right. There's nothing like, you know, you climbed the mountain. You're at the pinnacle. You've done what you set out to do. So it's a great feeling. Not just for me, but for the team, the front office, ownership, fans, everybody.

Q. Is there a sense that as long as you've got that pitching and you're in that ballpark, you're going to be in the thick of it next year and years to come?
BRUCE BOCHY: Sure, we feel like that. We felt we could get there. We could win the World Series with our pitching. As you well know, that's the easiest way to get it done is good pitching.
So the hardest part really, it's all hard, but getting there. Because at one point we were four games back. I mean, in fourth place, what, six, seven games back. What is the biggest margin?

Q. Seven and a half.
BRUCE BOCHY: Seven and a half, I mean.

Q. Isn't this the biggest thing that happened to you in the off-season (asking about Dancing With the Stars)?
BRUCE BOCHY: No, I'm not going to mention that.

Q. Come on. Would you really do that?
BRUCE BOCHY: No (laughing).

Q. Is there a concern with the offense?
BRUCE BOCHY: This guy talked to me about it, yeah.

Q. Is there a concern about the offense? In terms of the shortstop, and Burrell's a full year older, you know, about being not athletic enough, too old, that kind of thing?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, we have that in mind. We're talking about our club to get younger, more athletic. We've got some pretty good guys coming up through our system, like I mentioned. And we've got some other guys too, Thomas Neil's on the roster now.
As far as the outfield, we've definitely talked about doing what we can to get younger.

Q. Going back a few years when you and the Padres parted ways. In that process did you feel you had to get your name out there?
BRUCE BOCHY: What is this now?

Q. When you and the Padres parted ways before getting the job with the Giants, did you feel like you had to get your name out there, make contacts? What was it like getting that next job? Is?
BRUCE BOCHY: You mean my Giants job?

Q. Yeah, exactly.
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I wasn't looking for a job then. I had a year left on my contract. So this was not where I was out of a job or fired. We came to a mutual agreement. It's funny because Kevin's right up there and he can verify that. But he and Sandy -- if the club would call San Diego, I would listen. There were some clubs that called, in particular Brian Sabean, who after talking to him, I was convinced that I wanted to come up to San Francisco.

Q. So you didn't have to do a whole lot of searching?
BRUCE BOCHY: I didn't search at all.

Q. They came to you?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, they called and asked permission. Then if that's part of the search, yeah. But, no, it wasn't a case where I was out of work.

Q. Can I sneak in one Colorado question. Cargo exploded on the scene so much last year. Can you figure what next season will be for him in terms of how pitchers will work him differently and challenge him?
BRUCE BOCHY: He's a special player. He's an impact player. One of the best young players in the game. There is nothing the kid can't do. I mean, power average, great outfielder, base runner, they've got a good one there.
I can tell you that pitchers are going to be really careful with him next year. You've got Tulowitzki, so you have two animals on that.

Q. You talked about Bell's getting a good look in spring training. Darren Forte's going to be an important part of the game. I know it will be difficult to work in the outfield, but what do you want to see from him in the spring?
BRUCE BOCHY: It won't be so much in the spring. To be honest, Darren's probably going to Fresno. I mean, he'll be in spring training, so you don't rule anything out. But more just him being consistent with the bat. We know he's been consistent with the at-bats. But since he's given us switch hitting, he's been more consistent. But he has to show improvement in had a area.

Q. Would you prefer the contract extension was in place before the season started?
BRUCE BOCHY: I haven't even talked about that, to be honest with you. Not to skirt it. But I haven't even talked about it. It's not even on my mind. It's not on my mind right now. We've been too busy with this.

Q. Are there a few question marks that you've had?
BRUCE BOCHY: I'd say mainly because your pitching is intact. The starters, relievers, they're all under control. We had some free agent positions. They're a little easier to do.

Q. Beyond DeRosa, health is an issue. Sanchez is getting older.
BRUCE BOCHY: You're right. To finish the year helps. That was a big reason for our success. He stayed healthy for the most part. He was fresh at the end.

Q. Can Fontenot play shortstop?
BRUCE BOCHY: It wouldn't be a long-term deal, but once a week, yeah, he could do it.

Q. Is it fair to say that he could fill in there on a longer term if Miguel got hurt?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, yeah, I think that's one of our priorities is to have somebody ready to give us depth. We had tremendous success last year because of our depth. Hager went down, we had Uribe, Cargo struggled and we've got Fontenot.

Q. What options do you have besides Fontenot?
BRUCE BOCHY: You have Burriss, the kid Crawford needs more playing time. He got hurt there in Double-A. Rohlinger can go there, but he's more short term.

Q. What position is Burriss playing?

Q. He struggle offensively?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, he got off to a good start and really struggled there.

Q. Do you see more the second baseman? Do you see him more as a second baseman?

Q. Yeah.
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, we've been putting him at short, that's where he's been. I mean, he's a middle guy. It would be nice to have a guy that can play short. He's not a power guy on second base. On second base you'd like to have a little more production there.

Q. Playing with Burriss and maybe Fontenot, maybe still look outside for possible back-ups?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, yeah, we're exploring that now.

Q. How many positions can DeRosa play well enough for you to play him in?
BRUCE BOCHY: He can play the corner outfield, third and second and first. Could he play a day at short? Yeah, he's played short. I'd say if you pin me down and say what is his best position, I'd say second base.

Q. (Indiscernible)?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, Dave Groeschner was just with him in Atlanta. He said he looks great, feels great. He's playing like he normally does.

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