Bochy and Baker: A matter of respect

April 16th, 2023

This story was excerpted from Kennedi Landry’s Rangers Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

HOUSTON -- Before Friday, Bruce Bochy and Dusty Baker had managed a combined 7,941 Major League games across three decades.

Entering Friday’s series opener between Bochy’s Rangers and Baker’s Astros, 191 of those games had come against each other after lengthy battles throughout their time in the National League in the 1990s and 2000s.

“We go way back -- back when he was in San Diego, and I was in San Francisco,” Baker said on Friday. “I left [the Giants] and he took my place after Felipe Alou, and we hooked up many, many times after that. You always know you have to do your homework and be ready because Bruce’s teams are going to be ready. He’s been a formidable foe for a long time.”

“Over time, you just learn to respect the guy and what he does and how he’s doing,” Baker added.

The Silver Boot Series also now sets up a matchup between the ninth (Baker) and 11th (Bochy) winningest managers in MLB history. But Bochy’s 110 losses against Baker are his most against any opposing manager, as he was 82-110 in his career against Baker prior to this season.

“He had some really good teams," Bochy said. "We had a tough time against the Giants for a while there when I was in San Diego. It's good to see him … We'll be battling now that we're back in the same division.”

“You're thankful for the longevity and even having that chance to have so many games against each other,” Bochy added about the extensive list of battles between the two. “They've been good. They've been heated when you’re rivals. We’ve had to battle a lot to try to beat the Giants. It can be that way again [between the Rangers and Astros].”