I love Bruce Bochy.
I love him because I think he’s a good manager who, I think, deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. I love him because a few years ago when I ranked him the ugliest manager in major league baseball he thought it was amusing and — even though it possibly inspired a coronary event — he decided against pounding me into a think pasty goo. I love him because I once saw him at the hotel bar at the Winter Meetings hanging out with some friends and he seemed to be enjoying the hell out of himself, laughing and joking and doing all of the things that suggest he’s living his best life.
But I really, really need Bochy to retire this afternoon, before has has a chance to manage another game, as opposed to sticking to his plan and retiring at season’s end. Why? Because of this:
That’s right. Bochy began managing in 1995 and is ending his managerial career in 2019 . . . and his career record is 1995-2019!! That’s too perfect!! The universe demands this kind of symmetry!
I know the Giants close the season with a six-game home stand this year and that the team likely has all kinds of ceremonies and gifts and stuff planned out, but really Bruce: call last night’s defeat to the Pirates your last game, hand the reins over to an interim manager and walk off into the sunset. Yes it will cost you 2,000 career wins, but ten other guys have done that. If you stop short, it’ll help you go out with one-of-a-kind symmetry.
(Hat tip to my friend Lee for pointing this out to me after he saw it on Reddit; other folks noticed this today as well)
The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.