Boch Or No?

September 17

                   The Giants are off, there’s no NFL tonight, and that means just one thing: laundry day at the Woodson household!  Yeah, buddy!

                   Fans are still stewing about Giants manager Bruce Bochy after last night’s gut-wrenching defeat, because the manager is always an easy target.  Bochy was a genius for moving Bengie Molina to the five-hole as the Giants scored 26 runs in three games.  Last night he was a dunce.  Did anyone think Jorge De La Rosa might have had something to do with the Giants’ loss?

                   Bruce Bochy deserves another shot as manager.  He has been mostly correct in his moves this year.  Fans are skewering him for playing Edgar Renteria last night instead of putting Uribe at short and Ryan Garko at first base.  To me, that was a toss-up. 

                   Garko has been struggling as much as Renteria. who usually shows up in big games but is hurting.  In fact Renteria would be shut down by now if the Giants weren’t in a pennant race.  He came up with one of the worst at-bats of the season in the 9th inning, considering the situation. 

                   I’m not convinced Garko would have been any more productive last night.  He hit two home runs vs. De La Rosa last month, but that was at Coors Field, and has done nothing since.

                  There weren’t many good options for Bochy last night against a left-hander who was on fire.  Laz Diaz’s wide and low strike zone didn’t help, either.  Bochy has juggled the lineup several times during the season in an effort to find something that works, with limited success because there simply isn’t much talent there.

                 I think Bochy has done a pretty good job with the bullpen.  Yanking Bob Howry on a 2-0 count a couple of weeks ago was one of my favorite moves of the year, and it worked.  Bochy also deserves credit because the Giants have remained focused and spirited despite some major setbacks down the stretch.

                 When it all comes out in the wash ( sorry, separating the whites from the bright colors right now ) Bochy comes back, unless Tony La Russa somehow becomes available.  I try to avoid playing Bochy’s sound bites on the air for fear of putting the listeners to sleep, not to mention myself.  Because of his personality people think they can clown Bochy, but he’s done well with a mediocre deck of cards, and is good at handling people.

                  A frequent criticism of Bochy has been that he leans too much on veterans, but I don’t know too many managers who won’t during a pennant race.  At the same time, Bochy doesn’t mind playing youngsters if they’re good.  Pablo Sandoval has been in the three-hole almost the entire season, and Nate Schierholtz has gotten more at-bats in the second half, with mixed results.  Buster Posey is in deep freeze right now, but I don’t think management will let that happen next season.

                 On KNBR today, Giants managing partner Bill Neukom said a decision hasn’t been made about the futures of Bochy and General Manager Brian Sabean.  They might as well wait until the end of the season, after the dust has settled. 

                 I thought the Giants were an 80-win team at best.  Their next win will be their 80th.  It’s a stretch to think they’ll make the playoffs now, but they’ll make it interesting into the final week.  After the last four seasons, I’ll take it.


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