Giants Should Still Bring Bochy Back
- Updated: September 11, 2009
Manager Bruce Bochy is in the last year of a three year deal with the Giants.
And in that time the Giants have single handedly redefined the term scoring position; it’s no longer having a runner on second or third base.
Scoring position for your San Francisco Giants is defined this way: once they’ve crossed home plate, they’re in the dugout drinking a cup of Gatorade, engaging in a choreographed handshake celebration with Pablo Sandoval, and Fred Lewis is fanning the recently scored player off with a towel.
Prior to that having occurred, a Giants rally is not a rally. We’ll call it a simple base running exercise.
This season the Giants are hitting .246 with runners in scoring position (RISP), 25th in all of baseball. In those same situations Giants hitters have driven in a grand total of 404 runs. A pretty good total if you’re the Mariners, Reds, Padres or Royals; yes that miserable quartet is the only thing keeping the Giants from being last in this offensive category too.
Were the Giants having a season like the aforementioned perennial bottom feeders it wouldn’t be such a glaring issue. But they’re not, they’re in this thing ™.
Perhaps just as telling is the Giants inability to add to a rally when they do get these runners in what was previously defined as ‘scoring position.’ In such scenarios San Francisco ranks 28th with an on base percentage (OBP) of .325, just 5 percentage points ahead of Seattle who is ranked thirtieth.
It is these types of statistics that have a noticeable contingent of Giants’ Nation looking for Bruce Bochy’s head on a stick come this season’s end.
But as the French say; coaches get to much of the blame, and not enough of the credit.
Bochy may be inclined to agree with the sentiments of his fellow French natives. Yes, you read that correctly, Bochy was born in Bussac, France.
On a team that pitches as well as the Giants do from the first inning through the ninth, it’s hard to imagine them not being a lock for October baseball. But the offensive holes have gone largely ignored for the past several seasons. Its one thing to have Bengie Molina batting fifth when Barry Bonds is hitting clean-up, but it’s entirely unacceptable to have Molina as your cleanup hitter for each of the following two seasons.
Sure, you could blame Bochy for filling out the lineup cards, but it’s not as if he’s been given a supremely better alternative.
But Bochy has done one thing that is pretty remarkable. He has kept his team from exploding from within.
Let’s say the 2009 Giants pitching staff is the equivalent of the ’85 Bears defense. If that’s the case then the offense is the Oakland Raiders, circa 2003. Only they lack the punch of a Tom Cable uppercut.
Still, not one peep has been uttered, not a tweet has been twittered, and not one lamenting Facebook status update has been posted from a Giants pitcher to or in regards to the offense.
For this Bruce Bochy deserves a great deal of credit.
He’s not the perfect manager, that guy only exists minutes after he’s won a World Series, and he tends to disappear before pitchers and catchers report the following February.
Fans may want Bochy to bunt more, though that again boils down to a personnel issue. They want him to play the young guys, but that’s really just code for ‘play Nate Schierholtz.’ After all, when he gave Travis Ishikawa, Emmanuel Burriss and Fred Lewis a little slack the fans weren’t pining for youth. Its true, Bochy loves his veterans, and the Giants have some of the most unproductive and overpaid core of veterans in baseball (see Aaron Rowand, Randy Winn, and Dave Roberts), but again, that’s not the manager’s fault.
Bruce Bochy has a team with a mid level pay roll, 14th out of 30, a tremendous starting rotation, and an offense that is so inept it nearly renders its fantastic pitching useless. Still, on the 10th day of September, the Giants are four games back of the wild card, and six and a half back of LA in the West. With that Bruce Bochy is your National League Manager of the Year in 2009, and is in line for a contract extension.
But, if you still don’t think he’s done a good job, and you think the Giants can find someone better, you’re entitled to that opinion.
How will you get him out of San Francisco?
Take a queue from the birthers. After all, there’s bound to be something in our constitution that prevents a French born man to manage a Major League Baseball team.