Oct. 24 Bruce Bochy pregame interview
Oct. 24 Bruce Bochy pregame interview
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, it's something you try to do. You certainly want to make your new faces feel welcome and comfortable. I think as a club, not just the players, the staff, myself, but front office, everybody, the Giants just do a tremendous job of trying to just make the player feel at home, comfortable, and they're great at just creating tradition here.
Any player that's ever been a Giant is always welcomed back here, and there's a lot of you that are around that know that, that usually there's a lot of Giant players in the clubhouse or coming out to see us.
It's kind of been here for a while, but as far as new players coming in, you always try to do all you can to make them relax and feel at home.
Q. You acquired Pagan in a trade for Torres, kind of two outfielders. How much did you know about Pagan coming in and how has he met or exceeded your expectations?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I knew a little bit about him just from playing against him, and I appreciated how athletic he is. He always played well against us.
And you get reports on players that you acquire, either through friends, teammates. He's always played the game hard and we knew we were getting a good player. But as I've said so many times, when you don't know a lot about a player, you try to reserve judgment until you see him on a daily basis. He's really been amazing, how he comes out ready to go every day, how hard he plays, and you learn to appreciate what these guys bring to a club like a Pagan or a Scutaro or Pence, players like that.
Q. Was there much consideration to carrying a third catcher given the flexibility with the DH and pinch hitting and using Hector in new roles?
BRUCE BOCHY: It was brought up, to be honest. We did talk about it. We do have a third baseman, Sandoval, who has caught, so he does give us some coverage there. Hopefully we don't have to see that, but it's a pretty good third catcher if necessary. We felt that we have enough coverage there.
Q. There are nine Venezuelans in this World Series. You played a long time in Venezuela and you have managed many Venezuelan players. What is your opinion about how Venezuela has evolved as a source of Major League players?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I spent three years playing winter baseball down there, and they love the game. They have just a great passion for baseball. As far as I know, I'm pretty sure it is their national sport there. There's some great players that have come out of Venezuela. So I'm not surprised to see that many players here in the World Series that are just great players and have played the game all their life.
They play the game in their country probably similar to how we played it here 50, 60 years ago. They all played as kids growing up. You drive around the country and you see them playing sandlot baseball. That's why I think we're seeing so many players, not just from Venezuela but from Latin America, because of how much they play as kids.
Q. In the last series you had Posey catching Zito. Is it now likely that Posey is going to catch pretty much this whole series and not DH, and do you have any DH plan right now?
BRUCE BOCHY: I'd say right now Posey is going to he'll do all the catching. Now, as far as DH, I have a couple options with Huff and Sanchez. I have not named them yet, and I'll reserve that until we get to Detroit. And I think I have a couple other options, too. I mean, I could put Arias at third base and DH Sandoval, but these are things we're talking about now.
Q. Bumgarner told us that for the last while he's been trying to correct some mechanical problems that he's had. Are you reassured that he's back to where he used to be?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, I feel good about Madison. He's had a great year, he's done a great job for us since he's been up here, including postseason. This is a small sample on a couple hiccups he had earlier, and I think he's getting some much needed rest and some time to work on making a couple adjustments in his delivery.
Sometimes you get out of sync and it's better off taking a little bit of time and trying to sort that out, which he's done. So I look forward to watching him tomorrow.
Q. As a manager you have a lot of different responsibilities. You have to deal with the front office and what they need to do, you have to have a good relationship with the players, you have to have a good in game strategy. How difficult is it to balance all those different things, earning players' trust, all those things?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, hopefully you work at it and you get better with each year. It's like a player; I don't think you ever arrive as a player, I don't think you ever do as a manager. You keep trying to get better and work on things, whether it's in game strategy or managing your players or even dealing with the media or front office, whatever it is.
You know, for myself, I don't see it difficult, but I do see you need to always try to improve in any area you can and become the best player or manager you can.
Q. Do you need a good relationship with the players to be successful?
BRUCE BOCHY: I think you do, sure. I think there needs to be a trust there. I think they need to know that you're behind them, and there's different ways to do it. Sometimes you're not going to agree, but as long as you do it in the right way and handle things right -- but I think without question, I think it's something that's critical for the player and makes him a better player when he has trust from his manager and vice versa.
Q. Back to Bumgarner for a second, his performance in 2010 here in this event, did that factor into your decision in some way to go with him in Game 2 because of the way he handled all that pressure?
BRUCE BOCHY: Sure. I mean, he has experience of pitching postseason. He's done well, and he's dealt with the adversity that you have to deal with as a player. The good ones bounce back. They're resilient. We certainly feel that way with Madison. I don't care how good you are; occasionally you're going to have to deal with some adversity. But he's a tough kid. We forget sometimes, he's only 23 years old, and he's already done a lot in his career. But he can handle things thrown at him, and he's a guy that doesn't get his confidence shaken. It may not go well, but he still wants to be out there on the mound.
Q. A word about Brandon Belt: What impresses you most, another young guy, and his maturation process?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I think just being able to put the tough games behind him. The things that have happened with him. You look at last year, he went up and down. It's not easy. You're trying to get comfortable in the Major Leagues, and you get sent down to Triple A a couple times, two, three times, whatever.
But these are things that hopefully make the player better because you've got to have mental toughness to play up here. You're going to have to deal with a lot of things, and failure, and what's important is how you deal with it. And I think Brandon has handled it very well his first half, really had his ups and downs, was striking out a lot and he's had to make some adjustments in his swing, which he has. He's worked on it; he knew he had to work on it, and really never stopped trying to become a better hitter.
Q. Sabean said the other day that the mechanical problems that Lincecum and Bumgarner are both going through are kind of hard to do on the fly in the postseason, that it's going to take the winter and going into Spring Training to really get them through it. How do you feel about that, and what do you expect to see out of both of those guys as you move forward?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, it's always easier when you have more time and you're in a little more relaxed situation to correct some mechanics. And when you're pitching in a Major League game, especially when you're in postseason, you can't be thinking about mechanics. Same with the hitter; it's all about competing. And hopefully in your bullpens or in your batting practice, that's when you try to tweak some things to get back on track.
But once you're out there, that's the last thing that you can have on your mind because it's all about having the confidence to get it done and also competing.
But with the winter coming up, we have a few guys that we'll sit down, talk to them about things they can get better at, improve in what we want them to work on. But it is much more difficult trying to do it on the fly, but it can be done, or at least help your situation.
Q. I'm sure it's nice to have those core players who were here two years ago and have been through the World Series experience. But does the team get something from the players who haven't been in a World Series, too, maybe feeds off their excitement a little bit?
BRUCE BOCHY: Oh, I think so. I think you look at Marco Scutaro, Angel Pagan, they know how hard it is to get here and how long they've been waiting to get here. Those are hungry players, and they're a big reason why we're here. They were determined to help this club get to the World Series because they haven't been here. It's why you play the game. We have a few guys that have played their whole career to play in the World Series, and it's pretty nice to have in there, too, because of how hungry they are to get here.