SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Bruce Bochy followed his gut when he accepted an offer to start managing the Giants ahead of the 2007 season. That same gut feeling is now telling him it's time to start bracing for something new.Bochy, who guided the Giants to three World Series championships in 2010,
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Bruce Bochy followed his gut when he accepted an offer to start managing the Giants ahead of the 2007 season. That same gut feeling is now telling him it's time to start bracing for something new.
Bochy, who guided the Giants to three World Series championships in 2010, '12 and '14, announced Monday that he will retire at the end of the 2019 season, capping a celebrated 25-year managerial career in the Majors.
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"In my mind, it's time," said Bochy, who is entering his 13th season with the Giants. "It's been an unbelievable ride. There is so much I'm grateful for, with the players, the city, the fans. It's time now."
Bochy, who turns 64 in April, informed Giants players of his decision Monday morning during a team meeting prior to the club's first full-squad workout of the spring. First baseman Brandon Belt said Bochy began to get emotional and didn't spend too much time dwelling on the announcement.
"I think I was a little shocked," Belt said. "He's been around for every single year that I've been here. You think that it might be coming, but it's still a little surprising to hear it coming out of his mouth. We're just going to do what we can to try to make it a memorable last year for him."
Bochy began contemplating retirement at the end of last season and said the decision is of his own volition. He underwent an angioplasty in February 2015 and is recovering from offseason hip-replacement surgery, though he said health was not a factor in his decision. Neither was the Giants' decision to hire Farhan Zaidi as their new president of baseball operations.
"I couldn't be more adamant about that," Bochy said. "This is my decision. It's not something to think about last week. We talked about it at the end of the season. I don't want to burden them with wondering about my situation. I didn't want any distractions."
Giants president and CEO Larry Baer said Zaidi was aware that Bochy was considering retiring when he interviewed for his job in November. Baer said Zaidi will spearhead the search for Bochy's successor after the season ends. Bench coach Hensley Meulens and third-base coach Ron Wotus are among the internal candidates who could be considered for the opening.
Bochy will be a strong candidate for the National Baseball Hall of Fame once he completes his career as a manager. He also led the Padres to the NL pennant in 1998 and is one of only 10 managers in history to have won three World Series; the other nine are already enshrined in Cooperstown.
"To me, he's a lock," Baer said. "The city of San Francisco is very proud of him, and as we go through the season we will obviously have tributes. But I think the ultimate tribute will be Cooperstown. To us, it's a no-brainer."
Bochy's 1,926 career victories rank 11th all-time among managers, and he stands just 82 wins behind Hall of Famer Leo Durocher for 10th place. Bochy's 975 wins with the Giants also ranks second in franchise history behind Hall of Fame manager John McGraw (2,583). Bochy began his managerial career with the Padres in 1995. He won his lone NL Manager of the Year title the following year and then led San Diego to its second NL pennant in '98.
Bochy was also a big league catcher for nine seasons with the Astros, Mets and Padres, finishing with a .239 career average.
Bochy said he would like to remain in baseball, though he has not given much thought to what kind of role he'd like to move into. Baer has already told him that he has an open invitation to stay with the Giants. Bochy also didn't entirely shut the door on returning to manage another team someday.
"Never is a big word," Bochy said. "Never say never. You never know what's ahead of you. Where my head is at right now, I'm retiring as a manager here this year. It's not something I'm thinking about. So I'll leave it at that."
Maria Guardado covers the Giants for MLB.com. She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.