San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy waves his cap in salute to fans at the start of his final season before the game against the Tampa Bay Rays in the opening home game of the 2019 season at Oracle Park on Friday, April 5, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Giants aren’t going to the playoffs, but Bruce Bochy might

On Sports Media: Networks hoping retiring Bruce Bochy will lend voice to MLB playoffs

By Jim Williams

Special to The SF Examiner

One week from today at noon, the San Francisco Giants will close out the 2019 season against the NL West Champion Dodgers. It will mark the final game that Bruce Bochy will serve as the team’s manager, something that we knew before the season started.

Alas, there will be no storybook ending with Bochy leading the Giants to another World Series championship. That dream died months ago. However, it is very likely that Bochy will be involved in postseason baseball this year. Just not in San Francisco.

The Examiner has confirmed that no less than three networks are interested in having Bochy join their postseason coverage that begins on Oct. 1. It really should come as no surprise that a manager with three World Series rings, four pennants, 2,000 career wins and 25 years as a skipper in the NL West would be a prime candidate to share his baseball knowledge with any network.

The 2019 MLB postseason TV schedule begins with the NL wild card game on Oct. 1 on TBS.

FOX, FS1, TBS, ESPN and MLB Network will all carry playoff games, with FOX airing the World Series. Meanwhile, ESPN Radio will be airing all playoff games all the way through the World Series.

This year, TBS will be airing the NL Championship Series, and the smart money has the Dodgers being involved in another battle to serve as the Senior Circuit’s representative in the World Series. Turner Sports has long been an advocate of hiring guest analysts to serve as part of their pregame shows and you can bet Bochy will get a call from Atlanta.

Bochy will also have other options, should the calls come from Los Angeles — where FOX has their studios — or ESPN in Bristol, Conn. or the MLB Network in New York. All of the networks step up their games in the playoffs, and adding the right stars to the pre- and postgame shows can be as exciting as watching what happens at the MLB trade deadline.

My prediction is that Bochy will be choosing between TBS and FOX. They both make the most sense because they will be airing the most games. But, do not rule out MLB Network. Bochy has been a guest on their shows many times. Plus, if he does not want to commit to doing an entire series he can just pop in and out without leaving the Bay Area.

Channel Surfing

Bay Area auto racing fans got a big time fix as IndyCar drivers were touring and showing up on both local sports talk radio stations as well as local TV sportscasts. The drivers were in town promoting their annual stop in Northern California.

Today at 11:30 a.m., the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey will air live on NBC. The race is run on the always-challenging WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca.

NFL football today will feature on CBS 5 KPIX while the Raiders will be over on FOX 2 KTVU.

First up, the Raiders are on the road facing Minnesota, with the FOX broadcast team of Dick Stockton on the play-by-play and Mark Schlereth handling the color for the game.

The 49ers are home, entertaining a beat-up Steelers team with the CBS broadcast duo of Greg Gumbel on play-by-play and Trent Green handling the analysis on site from Levi’s Stadium.

The final week of the season will have the A’s pushing hard for the playoffs, and they will end the season on the road with five games. A rare two-game series down in Anaheim, where they will face the Angels, then the last three regular season contests will take place in Seattle, where they close things out with the Mariners. All five games will air on NBC Sports California.

Sharks preseason hockey offers two broadcasts this week — Sept. 24 on the road against Anaheim at 7 p.m. on NHL Network, and two days later at home against Calgary on NBC Sports Bay Area at 7:30 p.m. All the games can be heard on the Sharks SAP app.

College football this week of interest: Cal gets an early start on the weekend with a Friday-night, nationally-televised game on ESPN, as they host Arizona State at 7:30 p.m. in Berkeley.

Saturday, Stanford is on the road to face Oregon State with a 4 p.m. kickoff on the Pac-12 Network.

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