ORACLE PARK — The morning before his final homestand at Oracle Park, Giants manager Bruce Bochy let clubhouse manager Mike Murphy take him for a ride in South San Francisco.
As the two shared breakfast inside Cafe 382, several Giants fans came by to pay their respects, thanking Bochy for his 13 years and three World Series titles. “That’s pretty cool,” Bochy said.
Tuesday’s series opener against the Colorado Rockies kicked off what’s expected to be an emotional week for Bochy, as the franchise bids farewell. It’s a week that’s set to include two Madison Bumgarner starts, video tributes, a postgame celebration on Sunday and maybe — just maybe — a visit from Tim Lincecum.
“I’m going to keep myself busy so I don’t think about it too much,” Bochy said. “With that said, I’ve got a lot of friends coming in.”
One of those friends was on-field nemesis Joe Torre, who cut Bochy when managing the Mets in 1981 and beat Bochy’s Padres in the 1998 World Series, before jousting with him as manager of the Dodgers. Torre, who sat next to the Giants dugout, recorded a video address, urging Bochy to be “happy, healthy and proud” in retirement. That was followed by a tribute video from Metallica.
“All this blows me away,” Bochy said. “But, I’m thankful, very appreciative … This has been just a great year. I know we didn’t get where we wanted to go, but these guys is really made a lot of fun for me.”
Bochy said he wants to savor this whole week, as emotional as it’s going to be, from the walk to the ballpark from his King Street condo to suddenly seeing his big noggin as part of a “Thank You Boch!” scoreboard graphic, to Bumgarner taking the mound in possibly his last starts as a Giant; he enters free agency this winter. Before that, though, he’s slated to start on Sunday against the Dodgers — Bochy’s final game.
“Every time he goes out there, you know I got a great memories go through my head with times that we’ve had together,” Bochy said. “And, not just with him pitching. I’ll be thinking about that tonight.”
He’s even appreciative for his daily media briefings, or so he said.
“Even this time with you guys, sometimes you say well, this is work. It’s not,” Bochy said. “The fact that you guys are here listening what I have to say, I’m savoring that. I can’t get my wife to do that.”
Bochy went on to propose he has daily, then weekly, then monthly confabs with the local press so he can wean himself off.
“Can we do one a day until, like, December?” he said.
As of now, Bochy plans to unplug once the season ends, and pack up both his office and that condo down the street, sending it all down to his home in San Diego.
“Murph has already volunteered to drive it down,” he said.
Bochy has no plans to be a part of the search for his replacement, but is on-call if asked.
“He’s going to be one fortunate manager,” Bochy said. “With a storied franchise that has such great history to it, a beautiful ballpark, beautiful city, beautiful fans. You know, there’s not a better place to manage in baseball, I’m convinced of that. He’s gonna really not just appreciate it; he’s going to love it. Just a great place. Changed my life.”