Bochy missed game, takes over Rangers team he beat for title

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Bruce Bochy has won a World Series in Texas, something the Rangers haven’t done. Now he is coming out of a three-year retirement in hopes of getting the home team back there.

Bochy, who won the first of his three World Series titles with the San Francisco Giants in the old Rangers ballpark in 2010, was introduced Monday by the Texas general manager who pitched for the manager in San Diego four years before that.

“One of the things I told Boch when we offered him the job. I said, I’m not doing this because I loved you when I played for you. I’m doing this because we believe as an organization, you’re the right person to lead us into the future,” GM Chris Young said. “Boch fit every part of our criteria.”

Bochy hasn’t managed since 2019, when he stepped away after 13 seasons with the Giants, which followed 12 seasons with the Padres. The top choice in the Rangers search, Bochy was convinced after extended conversations with Young.

“Some have asked why. Well, the simple answer is, I miss this game,” Bochy said. “We talked many hours about the team and the culture that he wanted to create. And I was in.”

The 67-year-old Bochy got a three-year contract. The former big league catcher, who began his playing career in Houston, has 2,003 career wins in his 25 seasons as a manager. He also took the Padres to their last World Series in 1998.

The Rangers were 68-94 this season and had 35 one-run losses, a franchise record. Their six consecutive losing seasons mark the longest streak sin the half-century since the franchise moved to Texas in 1972. Their last winning record was at 10-9 early in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, and they lost 102 games last year.

After clinching the 2010 World Series with a Game 5 victory in Texas, San Francisco added titles in 2012 and 2014. The Rangers returned to the World Series in 2011, and lost in seven games to St. Louis.

“I had a hard time getting over 2010, but then after I got over 2010, I thought was a pretty good idea,” Rangers primary owner Ray Davis said about when Young presented Bochy as his choice before meeting with him. “It took about 10 minutes into the process where I was sold.”

Fourth-year Rangers manager Chris Woodward was fired Aug. 15, two days before the team also let go of president of baseball operations Jon Daniels — who was the GM for their two World Series teams, and division titles in 2015 and 2016.

Bochy takes over a Rangers roster that was bolstered in free agency last offseason with the signings of shortstop Corey Seager ($325 million, 10 years) and second baseman Marcus Semien ($175 million, seven years). Top prospect third baseman Josh Jung was among young players who made their big league debuts or got extended looks this year.

“When I look at this team and I look at the core players, and the deep system and the vision that CY has, I get excited. I just see tons of potential for next year and years beyond,” said Bochy, who was a special adviser for the Giants the past three seasons, and managed Team France in the World Baseball Classic qualifier last month. (Bochy was born on a U.S. Army base in France).

Semien grew up in the San Francisco area rooting for Bochy’s teams, including that 2010 championship.

“It was a special time just seeing what he and that staff built over there,” said Semien, who was at Monday’s introduction. “And I think that we have the talent in the clubhouse to do the same things, and know that we have the support from (Davis) on spending on pitchers and everything like that. So I think we’re heading in the right direction.”

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker called Bochy one of his favorites guys, and a top manager.

“I wish he was in the other division. But I’m glad he’s back. … A great baseball man, baseball mind. One more for the old dudes,” Baker said before the Astros won the AL Championship Series to get to their fourth World Series in six seasons. “I had a feeling he would be back.”

Baker is the oldest manager in the majors at 73, and Bochy will be the next-oldest. They managed in the same division from 1995 to 2002, when Baker was the Giants manager after Bochy got to the Padres.

Tony Beasley served as interim manager for the final 48 games and was interviewed after the season for the job. The beloved Beasley, the Rangers third base coach since 2015, is staying to be a part of Bochy’s staff.

The last three Rangers managers, all hired by Daniels, hadn’t managed in the big league before: Ron Washington, who led their two World Series teams; Jeff Banister, who won two AL West titles; and Woodward. The last manager who had come to Texas with previous experience in that role was Buck Showalter, who was there from 2003-06.

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