SAN FRANCISCO -- As Bruce Bochy enters his 10th season as the San Francisco Giants' manager, he, like most people his age, wonders where the years went."I guess the older you get, the faster time goes," Bochy said recently. "As they say, when you're 20, it goes by at 20
SAN FRANCISCO -- As Bruce Bochy enters his 10th season as the San Francisco Giants' manager, he, like most people his age, wonders where the years went.
"I guess the older you get, the faster time goes," Bochy said recently. "As they say, when you're 20, it goes by at 20 miles an hour. Now I'm 60, it's going by at 60 miles an hour."
The 10-season mark represents another milestone for Bochy, the Major Leagues' winningest active manager and one of only five in history (Connie Mack, Joe McCarthy, Casey Stengel and Joe Torre are the others) to capture as many as three World Series in a five-year span. Only one other manager has guided two teams for at least 10 years apiece: Tony La Russa, who spent 10 seasons with Oakland (1986-95) and 16 with St. Louis (1996-2011). Bochy, who turns 61 on Saturday, managed the San Diego Padres for 12 seasons before joining the Giants following the 2006 season.
Delivering a self-evaluation, Bochy called himself more patient and relaxed than he was during his early years in San Diego.
"Hopefully that's a good thing -- with the intensity that needs to go with that," he said. "I certainly delegate [authority] a lot more than I ever did. I have a great [coaching] staff here. They don't get the accolades like they should."
Though the years have rushed by, Bochy has not rushed along with them. This has accounted, as much as anything, for his success, which he and the National League West-leading Giants will try to continue Tuesday when they open a three-game series at Colorado.
"The easiest way to explain it, and it might be an overused baseball term, is that he's able, in real time, to slow things down," said Giants executive vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean. "He's just got that ice-water-in-his-veins approach that comes from him being prepared. The number of years he's managed and the situations and scenarios that are done in real time. He knows his players' capabilities and how or when to push their buttons probably as good or better than everybody I've been around. He had a growing reputation, if not a solid managerial reputation, in San Diego. And when he got here -- of course we had some tough times early on -- I think we all saw that once the tables could turn with the roster and getting him more talent, that he was going to do his magic, which we've seen over and over."
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who played for Bochy in San Diego and San Francisco, summarized matters more succinctly: "He's the best manager in the game."
For Bochy, the real magic comes with the job description. His appreciation for the game's history whetted his appetite to join a "storied franchise" after spending more than 30 professional seasons with expansion teams -- the Astros, Mets and Padres.
"This was a little bit different," Bochy said, recalling his conversion to the Giants. "I knew it. You could feel it when you came in this ballpark."
Reflecting his reverence and admiration for what and who came before him, Bochy studied various aspects of Giants lore shortly after his hiring. His education included reading a biography of John McGraw, the "Little Napoleon" who managed the New York Giants to three World Series conquests, 10 NL pennants and a 2,583-1,790 record from 1902-32.
"I read about a lot of things with the Giants," Bochy said. "I wanted to come here and be informed. I felt like I knew a lot, but still, you want to find out all you can about the history of this club. That's out of respect for the organization. It was something I took upon myself, to try and learn about all their great players."
Regarding McGraw, Bochy said, "He was a hard-nosed, tough, obviously great manager. That's something I really enjoyed, when you learn about the personality and the way they did things, and how players talked about him."
There's no other place Bochy would rather be than San Francisco. Expressing his regard for numerous people within the organization, he said, "Time keeps going by a lot faster when you're having such a great time. ... I have the best job in baseball."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.