Bruce Bochy is a not flashy guy. He’s not a PR director’s dream. Slick is a not a word used to describe him, and words come to him slowly with a methodical thoughtfulness. He’s friendly with the press, but I’ve never seen him take care of in-house business through a reporter. He’s a solid guy, a guy who made his living as a blue-collar catcher before taking the helm of the Padres in 1995.
Despite leading the Padres to two-straight NL West titles, many fans are calling for the head of the manager on stick. They would prefer to see Joe Girardi or Angel pitching coach Bud Black skipper the club, to get a fresh perspective in the clubhouse. Management seems OK to let Bruce talk to other teams. Reports coming out today link Bochy with the opening in San Franscisco.
Bochy is certainly not without fault. Specific to this season, Bochy made a few errors in the playoffs. Many fans believed the manager’s use of Todd Walker over Josh Barfield was misguided at best. And with the lack of offensive production all year, I felt that Bochy could have done a few more hit-and-runs and sacrifices to keep opposing pitchers off balance and manufacture some runs.
But when it comes down to it, a manager can only control the lineups and a few select plays in a game. Really, a good team consists of talented, quality players. While pitching and defense were above average and consistently good, Bochy did not have much to work with in the offensive lineup.
According to all the reports coming out of the Padres camp, the team will have more money to attract free agents with more pop. So management recognizes the weak areas of the team. I don’t see the manager being one of them. Consistency counts, and even though he’s not flashy, Bochy certainly is consistent.
– CHRIS NIXON