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Kapler all ears as 'legend' Bochy arrives to camp

@mi_guardado
February 21, 2020

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Following the completion of Friday’s round of live batting practice at Scottsdale Stadium, manager Gabe Kapler jogged over to the dugout to greet Bruce Bochy, who reported to Giants camp for the first time in his new role as special advisor. Kapler shook Bochy’s hand and chatted

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Following the completion of Friday’s round of live batting practice at Scottsdale Stadium, manager Gabe Kapler jogged over to the dugout to greet Bruce Bochy, who reported to Giants camp for the first time in his new role as special advisor.

Kapler shook Bochy’s hand and chatted briefly with his predecessor, providing a snapshot of two distinct eras for the Giants. Kapler called Bochy a “legend” and said he’s looking forward to using him as a resource as he embarks on his first season managing the Giants.

“I think Boch has a really good feel for baseball from all angles,” Kapler said. “I don't think there's an area of the game that he's not very developed in. Trying to get a really well-rounded view of the game through his lens is going to be really valuable for me. I also think he has a really good way of just connecting with people -- players, media, staff. I want to do a lot of listening when I have a chance to sit down with Boch.”

Bochy, 64, remains a beloved figure in San Francisco after guiding the Giants to three World Series championships over his 13-season tenure with the club, but he delayed his arrival to camp partly because he wanted to keep the spotlight on Kapler this spring.

“I think that's why he is where he is today, because he's so thoughtful and thinks about things on a deeper level,” Kapler said. “There's a lot of awareness and sensitivity. Obviously, being on my end of it, I'm super grateful for that awareness.”

Even as he eased into retirement, Bochy said he stayed busy this offseason, taking trips with his family and spending plenty of time with his grandchildren. The Giants gifted him a trip to New Zealand at the end of last season, but Bochy still hasn’t managed to squeeze it into his schedule.

Bochy hasn’t ruled out returning to manage in the Majors someday, but he remains committed to taking a step back in 2020 and declined to pursue several of the managerial openings that cropped up this offseason.

He does have another managing gig lined up this year, though. Bochy will be around Giants camp for the next two weeks before heading to Tucson, where he will manage Team France in a qualifying tournament for the 2021 World Baseball Classic. It will be a family affair for Bochy, who plans to have his brother, Joe, as his bench coach and his son, Brett, as one of his pitchers.

Maria Guardado covers the Giants for MLB.com. She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.