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Zaidi details Giants' upcoming manager search

@mi_guardado
October 24, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO -- President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi was among the many Giants executives on the field Sunday for the postgame ceremony honoring retiring manager Bruce Bochy. Zaidi was struck by the waves of former Giants who emerged from the center-field gate to take part in the celebration, a

SAN FRANCISCO -- President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi was among the many Giants executives on the field Sunday for the postgame ceremony honoring retiring manager Bruce Bochy.

Zaidi was struck by the waves of former Giants who emerged from the center-field gate to take part in the celebration, a scene that perfectly encapsulated the devotion Bochy inspired from his players over his 25-year career.

“I was grateful for the opportunity to be on the field for that,” Zaidi said Tuesday during the Giants’ postseason press conference at Oracle Park. “It's something that I've seen all year, the relationship that Boch has with players. Not just our current players, but guys that have been here before. [There are] a number of guys that are still in the organization, partly because of their affinity for him, and how he made them feel about being Giants.”

The ability to forge relationships among players and front-office personnel alike will be the primary quality that Zaidi seeks as he begins the process of finding Bochy’s replacement this offseason.

“Being a relationship builder, and somebody that has the demeanor and personality that people want to play for you and put the team above individual goals,” Zaidi said. “That's maybe the truest of leadership traits. It's obviously something I've had in mind, but I think Sunday was a pretty compelling reminder and case for that, and how impactful that can be if you have that in your manager.”

Finding Bochy’s successor will be at the top of a lengthy offseason to-do list for Zaidi, who also plans to concurrently interview candidates for a potential general manager opening. There is also likely to be turnover among Bochy’s coaching staff. Zaidi said he’s spoken with each of the coaches individually to inform them that no decisions will be made until a new manager is in place, giving them an opportunity to look elsewhere for opportunities in the interim.

Bench coach Hensley Meulens and third-base coach Ron Wotus interviewed for the managerial opening, and Zaidi expects to consider six to eight external candidates as well. Though prior managerial experience will not be a prerequisite for the job, Zaidi said he understands the benefits of bringing in a more seasoned candidate for the position.

“I view it as a potential advantage for somebody if they have done it before, just because they know what it's like and you know what they're like in that role,” Zaidi said. “I think what we've seen with managers is that there's a learning curve, not just within an individual managing experience, but a lot of times guys do better and have more traction their second time around because of the lessons that they've learned. I think all that will be factored in. It’s certainly not disqualifying to have not done it before. But I totally recognize the value of that experience.”

The Pirates, Royals and Mets are among the other teams still looking for new managers this offseason, which Zaidi said could affect the timeline for a potential hire. The Giants will also need to work around the permission windows granted by playoff teams, another factor that could end up prolonging their search into November.

“Obviously, I don't know who's on other teams’ managerial candidate list, but it's reasonable to expect there to be some overlap,” Zaidi said. “That throws an additional wrench into scheduling of things, which could wind up extending the process. We'll just cross that bridge when we get to it. But I imagine some of the candidates that we will wind up interviewing will be candidates elsewhere as well.”

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