There’s a perception that participating in the Home Run Derby makes a player more likely to have a poor second half, with the people who put forth that argument focusing on a handful of prominent cases for support.
However, as Derek Carty of The Hardball Times showed in a study last year, reality doesn’t match perception:
Despite conventional wisdom, it doesn’t look like derby participants play any worse in the second half of the season (on the whole). If you’re looking for the results in terms of percentages, 57 percent of derby participants outperform their projections in the second half.
He also found that even when participants advance to the later rounds of the Home Run Derby or hit an exceptional number of homers during the contest “we still don’t see any signs of a second-half decline” from the whole sample size being studied.
I’m just fine with players turning down Home Run Derby invites for whatever reasons–because, really, who cares?–but to blame the contest any time a participant has a poor second half is off base.
Bruce Bochy just told reporters at spring training in Scottsdale that he plans to retire following the 2019 season.
Bochy’s Giants are certainly in a transitional period right now. They aren’t calling it a rebuild in San Francisco, but it’s hard to see how what they’ve done this offseason and what sort of talent they have in house right now amounts to a contender. If there will be a more thorough restructuring or reshuffling or — gasp! — even a rebuilding, it’ll likely be a lengthy one. Bochy will turn 65 during the 2020 season and, after 25 years on the bench, he may simply not have the desire to put in the kind of time such a rebuild will take.
But what a 25 years it’s been. He managed the Padres from 1995 through 2006 and took the Giants over in 2007. He led San Diego t the 1998 NL Pennant and has, obviously, led the Giants to three World Series titles, in 2010, 2012 and 2014. For his career he has a record of 1926-1944.
Given those three rings, however, he will likely be inducted into the Hall of Fame at his first opportunity.