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October 28, 2012

Bruce Bochy


Q.  Just in condensed form, could you go over what kind of an interview you had with Randy Smith for the Padres job and then maybe what he told you when he hired you.
BRUCE BOCHY:  Wow (smiling), we're going back a few years here.
I'm very appreciative of Randy Smith taking a chance on somebody that didn't have any experience at managing in the Major Leagues.  He approached me, he said, "I want you to be my manager."  It's pretty simple.  We had a little history from Houston, and I was excited, flattered and very thankful that here's a general manager that was going to take a chance on a young guy that didn't have experience up here, and I'll never forget it, that moment that he told me.

Q.  Brian (Sabean) last night said he wasn't at all surprised by what the pitching is doing because you did it in 2010 with essentially many of the same guys.  Would you compare it to that or would you say this is maybe a little level higher than it was in 2010?
BRUCE BOCHY:  I think it's close, similar, with how these pitchers are throwing, the quality starts, the bullpen.  This time of year, you need your pitching to come through for you, and as we approached postseason we actually had a couple guys that got out of sync, so it's good to see them back on track and throwing the ball the way they can.
When you're playing the clubs that you play in postseason, you have to execute.  You have to make your pitches.  And these guys have been consistent doing it.

Q.  Could you go over your DH choice with Theriot.  And also did you consider Huff?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Yeah, I did consider Huff.  Theriot is going to DH.  He's done a great job for us all year.  I think he's battled right‑handers well this year, and he's an experienced veteran that he finds a way to get the bat on the ball.  And so I decided to go with Ryan.  I know who we're facing is tougher on righties and lefties, but he's handled righties better than lefties this year, Theriot, and I'm going with an experienced guy tonight.

Q.  In the World Series you haven't needed that much pitching depth, but I'm wondering in the first couple rounds of the playoffs how important Kontos was for you, and also maybe going back to when you guys got him to start the season.
BRUCE BOCHY:  George has done a real nice job all year for us, a guy that's filled in some middle innings.  He's resilient, he can go two, three days in a row, he can go two innings.  That's always important for that middle guy.
I really think really his first year in the Major Leagues, so to speak, he's really handled himself so well, not just during the season but in postseason.  You need that bridge to get to your setup guys, and he's done a nice job doing that, and I think he's gotten better and better.  His confidence has grown, gotten that sense of belonging, as we say up here, and he's done a good job.

Q.  What is it about your working relationship with Brian Sabean that makes it successful?  And what do any manager and general manager need in order to succeed?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, I think we spend a lot of time talking baseball.  You have to communicate, and we see each other so much in the office.  He's got an office close to mine.  But we're good friends, too, so we spend a lot of time off the field talking about the team, the game.  It's something special for me because I have somebody I can talk to about the game, and he always asks about players.  He'll ask your opinion.
It's a case, I think, where we're not always in agreement, sure, but it's nice to have the availability of your general manager on a consistent basis, which I do, because we live in the same building, we're together quite a bit.

Q.  What do you think Lincecum can take out of this postseason, especially when you look forward to him going back in the rotation next year?  What do you think can be the positives from this?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, hopefully his confidence has grown so much through what he's done and realizes, again, how good he is.  We all have our down years.  I don't know what good or great athlete hasn't had an up‑and‑down year, and Timmy had to go through it this year, and it's nice to see him throwing the ball the way he is at the end here.  Hopefully he can carry that through the winter and into Spring Training and the following season.
I think that's what Timmy should carry with him as we approach next year.

Q.  Is Lincecum available today or are you going to try to avoid him?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, I'll wait to hear from Timmy through Dave Righetti as we take batting practice.  He'll get out and throw, let us know where he's at, how he feels.  To be honest, I'd like to stay away from him.  This is a little bit of uncharted territory the way we're using him, and he did go two‑plus innings.  I would say right now I plan on staying away from him, but he may come up to Rags and go, I feel great.

Q.  Also, he's said that maybe the spontaneity of this has played into his success.  Was this part of your thinking, or did you have any idea that just the idea of this, the concept of this would click with him just mentally the way it has?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, we did discuss that, that it may help him, not having all night to think about, hey, I'm pitching tomorrow.  And just let him know during the course of a game, hey, Timmy, you're in there, so now he doesn't have time to think about his delivery or anything; it's time to get ready.  And he doesn't take long, so it's not like he has a lot of time to think about it.
And I agree with him, I think it probably has helped him.  And also realize you can get yourself in trouble by thinking too much, and just go out there and let your talent surface.

Q.  Considering the way the pitchers have hit for you guys this year, is the DH kind of a little bit of a detriment because they've driven in so many runs?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, I agree with that, when you're using a DH it probably puts the National League at a disadvantage.  The American League team is built for that.  Your pitchers have more experience, more time swinging the bat.  But we feel like we've got some pretty good options with the DH, but if you ask me who has an advantage playing an American League team, sure, I think the American League team does.

Q.  You talked about your interview with San Diego, when you were interviewing with Brian for this job, did he say, we're going to have a team based on pitching moving ahead?  Was that discussed at your interview?  And did you guys envision it would come to this like you've had it the last few years?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, at some point that was discussed, how we would make a transition from what the Giants were.  They were more of a power club, slugging club.  In our division with the bigger ballparks, that we would be better off going with pitching and defense and try to get more athletic.  So that was the plan, and Brian has done a great job with it.  As you well know, our outfield, we're faster, more athletic out there.  And we just think in our park, in our division, that's the best way to go with these bigger parks.

Q.  Did you discuss that in your interview?
BRUCE BOCHY:  I'd say a little later.  It was brought up, but it was discussed deeply a little bit later.

Q.  A couple of your players and a couple of the SanFrancisco writers say there's times when you can be pretty funny and pretty relaxed in the dugout.  How would you describe your sense of humor?  And how has your personality evolved as a manager?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, it's hard to talk about yourself here.  I've been told I have a dry sense of humor.  You know, I have fun.  I know when you're in the dugout, I've been told I don't smile a lot, but don't let that belie what's going on.  We have fun in there, and I want these guys to be loose and relaxed.  I think that the best way you play this game is to be loose and relaxed and go out there and have fun.
As far as my personality, I don't think it's changed since I started managing.  Hopefully you get better as a manager, but as far as your personality, no, I think I'm the same guy when I signed in 1995.

Q.  No team makes it here with just two good hitters, but Cabrera and Fielder stand out in the middle of Detroit's lineup.  Could you just talk about the difficulty of holding those two guys down over a period of time, and how well your pitchers have done that.
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, they're great hitters.  And you've got to make pitches.  We know it.  And when they hit the ball, which they're going to, you hopefully make the plays.  They've hit some balls well.  Pablo made a great play on Cabrera and Blanco did, and our defense has done a great job.  So it goes hand in hand.
You just hope that you don't get in a situation to where you've got to pitch to them.  Last night we did and Vogelsong did a great job of getting out of it.  But any time you have to go through two hitters like that, you've got to make pitches and be careful, and our guys are doing a great job.

Q.  Your batting coach mentioned that your lineup 1 through 8 or in this case 1 through 9 grinds out at‑bats, maybe except for Pablo.  Does it go without saying that they do it a lot better than your 2010 team or other teams that you've managed?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Yeah, well, if you look at the 2010 team, we had a little bit more power, and usually what goes with power is strikeouts.  We're striking out quite a bit lately, and I think we can do a little better job of trying to put the ball in play than what's happened here recently.  But that's what's made us a better club, particularly the second half, because the first half we had to talk to the guys and go, listen, we're striking out too much with runners on base.  And they've done a much better job of making contact, and doing some little things to help put some runs across the board.
But that's the difference, I think, in this club and 2010 is the guys do grind them out a little bit better, they battle and find a way to put the ball in play.

Q.  If you consider winning a second World Series title, you're entering a pool of not a lot of Major League managers.  Do you allow yourself to think about the chance of entering a conversation like that?
BRUCE BOCHY:  No.  This thing is not over.  My focus right now is try to win one more game.  The same with the players.  We're at three wins right now, but the only thing I want these guys to think, just like myself, is we have one more game to win, and that's where we're at right now.

Q.  A couple of quick Brandon Crawford questions:  From the outside looking in, it seemed like when he got to the Big Leagues people were saying, man, this guy can really catch the ball.  Will he hit that much?  Was that the viewpoint of the organization, too, how well would he hit?  And just how important is he in the middle of your infield?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, I agree with that.  When we kept him this year, we kept him because of his defense.  We knew we would suffer at times, he would, with the bat.  You're going to as a young player.  He missed a lot of time in the Minor Leagues, too, injuries, so he didn't get a ton of at‑bats down there.  So we knew at times he would have his ups and downs, but the glove was what we needed and what would be important for this club.  But we also felt that he's got the potential to be a pretty good hitter and play both sides of the ball well, which his hitting has really come along.
But I think we're all seeing what a talent this kid has at shortstop, and he's a big reason why we're here, because of the defense he gives us with his good pitching.

Q.  Taking Pablo out last night, was he dinged up a little bit or a little tired?
BRUCE BOCHY:  No, that's kind of what we've been doing.  Arias is probably our best third baseman.  It's a shortstop that we put at third.  But Pablo has done a good job.  So that was an easy call.
But no, he's fine, but it does help keep Joaquin involved, too.

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