Article about that ***** Huff. I wasn't sure where to put it. I decided here would be fine.
Funny that this thread has the very term that came to my mind while watching yesterday's game - "Over Managing". Seeing this thread makes me take a few minutes out of my busy Sunday to offer my thought, for whatever they are worth...
There can be no question that Mr. Bochy comes from the "More is More" school of managing. Casey Stengel (the father of the "platoon player") was like that. Tony LaRussa also. Davey Johnson as well (he stuck with a washed up George Foster, while trying to figure out where to play a young comer Kevin Mitchell well into the summer, as skipper of the 1986 Mets).
On the other side, Gene Mauch stayed with Jim Bunning and Chris Short for a long time with the Phillies. Joe Torre stayed with the best players getting most of the playing time with the Yankees, and later the Dodgers. Torre's protege, Don Mattingly, shows signs of being the same way.
Bruce Bochy was a marginal player (a backup catcher, .239 lifetime average in 802 AB) who still managed to play in the post season on 2 different clubs. Also, after his first three years in the majors, Bochy was released and spent the entire following year in the minors, only to work his way back to the show with a new club the following season. He was the classic journeyman player - a poor man's Brian Johnson.
In short, as a player, Bochy fought and clawed for everything he earned. As a manager, he expects the same from his players (he once took Barry Zito out of a game with a 3 run lead, and Zito needing one more out to qualify for a win). Also, as a manager, he was famed for running low budget teams. His Padres teams were much like that, and before 2011, his Giants teams were as well. Bochy has never really has teams that were loaded with big time, big money talent (none with the Padres, and he got to the Giants when Barry Bonds was near the end). A manager from that background believes he must win using guile and percentages (hence, the varied lineups to bring about favorable match-ups). He also demands you show him what you can do during the game - not in the minors or in batting practice. Hence he sticks with Aubrey Huff over Brandon Belt. And he is still not convinced by Nate Schierholz (except when it comes to his defense).
Bochy grew up with a father in the Army. He believes in discipline and loyalty. He demands it from his players, and he gives it to them as well (I have never heard Bochy disparage one of his players in the press, for any reason). He is like the boss you get to have if you are lucky - tough but fair. He is rarely satisfied, he is constantly driving you to get better. And if you can cut it for him, you know you are good. If a player thinks Bochy is being too tough on him, well... tough. He dares you to prove him wrong. Take whatever chances he gives you, many or few, good or bad, like a man. Make the best of the next chance you get - if and when you get it. Be tough, hard-nosed, stubborn - like he is.
And it is hard to argue with the results. In the less than two full seasons after winning the World Series, only one of his 6 main outfielders (Burrell, Torres, Rowand, Ross, Bowker, Schierholz) is still with the club - and three of them Aaron Rowand, John Bowker, and Pat Burrell are now out of baseball. There are several teams with more talent that have won less. Need more proof? Can you name 5 guys from the 1998 Padres NL Pennant winners? 4 guys?
I believe that Bochy (over)manages this way because he feels he must, and that he has had some success doing it that way. And I do not see a tough, stubborn fellow like that changing his approach anytime soon.
Stubborn, this is a perfect word for Bochy. While your thoughts about his playing career bleeding into his Mangerial career, I think it's a very poor way to manage a ball club. I'd much rather see a young, progressive thinker who is willing to adjust to a game that is ever changing.
Bochy is a frustratingly bad manager and is well overdue to be replaced...also if we use a pitcher to PH it should not be our big money Cain but Vogelsong- Why Huff plays over Belt on a regular basis? Why Nate isn't a starter? At least we don't have Rowand hitting leadoff
Boch is one of the better managers in baseball, but his idiotic stubbornness is going to lose us some games
^ That. We could have much worse.
Bochy had his best managing of the season today
However, I still believe my point - Bochy does not disparage his players in the press - is still valid. As proof, I offer this quote from Bruce Bochy about Aubrey Huff after Saturday's loss to the Mets - arguably Aubrey Huff's most brutal game as a Giant...
“I was going to talk to Aubrey,” Bochy said. “He was swinging so well in the spring. I just see his timing off with his hands. There’s not a lot of movement there. I see a little different approach than I saw in the spring. “It just wasn’t a good day for Aubrey. But overall, the at-bats have been much better than last year."
If this is admonishment, it is admonishment in the most constructive, positive way possible.
With all due respect, I stand by my point about Bruce Bochy, and the way he treats his players.
However, he's a hypocrite.
“He got himself in a funk. And what went on might have been a residual effect of maybe not doing enough during the off-season. And he knows that,” Sabean said. “But it was a touchy thing to have to deal with. Now having said that, next year’s a different year. He’s going to have to come in ready. He’s going to have to come in and pull more weight. And if he can’t, as we’ve shown before, the manager’s hopefully going to be in the position to have other choices. And we’ll put other people in there if need be.”
“He’s got to come in ready, and he’s expected to get back to the form he was before,” Bochy said. “He’s going to get back to what he did the year before. Same workout routine, trainer. Whether he dropped the ball last year and didn’t work out enough over the winter, he’s looking at all those things. The thing that’s important with Aubrey right now: he accepted full accountability for what happened to him this year and maybe not working as hard.”