Bochy eager to get started as Rangers' new manager

October 24th, 2022

ARLINGTON -- By the close of the 2019 season, Bruce Bochy had accomplished just about everything possible for a Major League manager. Three World Series titles. More than 2,000 victories. A sure-fire lock for the Hall of Fame one day.

So when the 67-year-old agreed Friday to become the 20th full-time manager in Rangers history, he knew there was one simple question on the lips of some: Why?

Bochy’s answer is just as simple.

“I miss this game,” Bochy said during his introductory press conference Monday at Globe Life Field. “There’s so many things about the game I miss – in the dugout, the competition, being on the team.

Through all of Bochy's accolades and successes, a competitive fire still burns within him, something that general manager Chris Young knew when the two met recently for more than seven hours at Bochy’s home in Nashville. The former Giants and Padres manager said he wouldn’t return to the dugout unless it was the right fit. 

Bochy said his interest was immediately piqued when Young initially called him, and after many conversations with Young, Bochy said it became “pretty evident” to him that the Rangers represent just that. 

“We talked many hours about the team and the culture that [Young] wanted to create, and I was in,” Bochy said. “I could see and feel the passion and commitment that he has to building a winning culture here and bringing winning baseball back to the Rangers fans. I was all in on that.”

Bochy is returning to the big leagues after spending three years of retirement as special advisor for the Giants, the club he managed to three World Series championships in 2010 (vs. Texas), '12 (vs. Detroit) and '14 (vs. Kansas City). 

Bochy is the Rangers’ first hire with previous MLB managerial experience since Buck Showalter was hired in October 2002. He’s also the first to join the club having previously won a World Series. 

Young already has an intimate idea of the type of leadership that Bochy will bring to the Rangers. The former pitcher’s first season with the Padres was Bochy’s last in San Diego. It culminated with a 2006 division title -- one of six for Bochy. Young was credited with the team’s only postseason win that year when he threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings in NLDS Game 3 at St. Louis.

“One of the things I told [Bochy] when we offered him the job -- I said, ‘I'm not doing this because I loved you when I played for you. I'm doing this because we believe the organization you're the right person to lead us into the future,’” Young said. “I recognized that when I played for Bochy in 2006, that was a long time ago. I have special memories from that time. I've seen what he's gone on to do since that. 

“But evaluating what our needs are right now and where we're headed organization that's what this decision was about. And Bochy fit every part of our criteria in terms of that, and I'm very, very grateful that he chose us.”

The role of the Major League manager has changed and evolved since Bochy first began with the Padres in 1995, and even since he retired in 2019. But the Rangers’ new skipper is comfortable and confident in his own ability to develop with the game.

Three pillars Bochy keeps consistent throughout all his years in baseball are: fundamentals, preparation and chemistry/culture.

“You still manage your people, that never stops,” Bochy said. “It’s the same as when I started in 1995. That's what I'll be doing now. I think that's the most important part of managing. A little bit more collaboration, we have to communicate a little bit more with whatever departments but it comes down to doing things the right way in baseball. I try to keep this simple.”

Even so, it’s no secret that Bochy is taking over a club coming off of six consecutive losing seasons, including 102 losses in 2021 and 94 in ‘22. But much like Bochy’s Giants teams of the 2010s, Texas is working with a strong offensive core in Corey Seager, Marcus Semien and Nathaniel Lowe, as well as a plethora of homegrown talent coming through a deep farm system.

“This system is known for how strong it is,” Bochy said. “I think that's what excited me as much as anything, is what can happen even beyond next year.”

Young, Bochy and majority owner Ray Davis all came to the same conclusion and share a vision for this club moving forward.

“The same overarching theme was that it’s time to play winning baseball here. That they had enough of the losing,” Bochy said.

It’s easier said than done, but there’s confidence throughout the organization that Bochy is the right man to lead the Rangers back to the Fall Classic and the club’s first World Series championship.

“We recognize there's a ton of work to do,” Young said. “We believe in the vision we have, we believe in the people that we're choosing to be a part of this. It started last year with [the signings of Seager and Semien]. ... But I think most importantly having the right leader in the dugout to help us get that in the environment to get the best out of everyone is critical. And we're very excited to have a [Bochy] in the dugout helping us do that.”