Bruce Bochy: one of the best managers in baseball history?

54 Comments

That’s the case for Bochy made by Jonah Keri today over at Grantland. And, thankfully, Jonah doesn’t just play the “count tha rings!” game. Sure, the two World Series rings and a potential for a third matter, but he also looks at what Bochy has done with what he has been given, his flexibility and the extent to which his teams have exceeded expectations and concludes thusly:

That ability to overcome adversity — combined with the data and sheer number of rings he has won — net out something you wouldn’t expect: the conclusion that Bruce Bochy not only has a case as the best manager in the game today, but as one of the greatest of all time. Sounds weird, but it’s true. And that sound you hear is grateful Giants fans hollering in agreement.

A big assist in that assessment comes from Chris Jaffe and his book, which I read and enjoyed, called Evaluating Baseball’s Managers. When you read it — and Jonah’s piece for that matter — you quickly realize that quantifying a manager’s contributions is really, really complicated and that a lot of leaps have to be taken. That said, it’s a better approach than merely talking about soft factors like “fire” and “leadership” or simply looking at W-L records.

But whether it’s those soft factors or the numbers or the unconventionality when it is required or the word of people who have played under him or against him, there is no escaping that Bochy is among the best there has ever been and probably the best in the game today.