ARLINGTON, Texas — Bruce Bochy won a World Series in Texas, something the Rangers had not 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 World Series titles with the San Francisco Giants at the Rangers’ old stadium in 2010, was introduced Monday by the Texas general manager who played for Bochy in San Diego four years earlier.
“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 that you are the right person to lead us into the future,” he said. said GM Chris Young. “Boh fits every part of our criteria.
Bochy hasn’t hit since 2019, when he retired after 13 seasons and those World Series titles with the Giants, which followed 12 seasons with the Padres. The top pick in the pursuit, Bochy said he was convinced after long talks with Young.
“Some have asked why. Well, the simple answer is, I miss this game,” Bochy said. “We talked for many hours about the team and the culture he wanted to create. I was part of it.”
Bochi, 67, was given a three-year contract. The former big league catcher, who began his playing career in Houston, has 2,002 career wins in 25 seasons as a manager and also led 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. It was their sixth straight losing season, the franchise’s longest streak in a half-century since they moved to Texas in 1972. They haven’t even had a winning record since going 10-9 at the start of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, and lost 102 games last years.
After winning 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.
“It was hard for me to get past 2010, but when I got past 2010, I thought it was a pretty good idea,” Rangers principal owner Ray Davis said when Young presented Bochy as his choice before meeting with him. “It took about 10 minutes from the process where I was sold.”
Fourth-year Rangers manager Chris Woodward was fired Aug. 15, two days before the team also fired president of baseball operations John Daniels — who was the general manager for their two World Series teams and division titles in 2015 and 2016.
Bochy takes over a Rangers roster that was bolstered last offseason when half a billion dollars were committed in free agency to long-term contracts for Corey Seager ($325 million, 10 years) and second baseman Marcus Semien ($175 million, seven years). Top third baseman Josh Jung was among the prospects making their big league debuts.
“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t want to help bring a championship here to Texas,” Bochy said.
Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker said Bochy is one of his favorite guys and one of the best managers in the world.
“I wish he was in a different division. But I’m glad he’s back. … Great baseball man, thinking about baseball. Another one for the old guys,” Baker said before the Astros won the ALCS and reached their fourth World Series in six seasons. “I had a feeling he was going to come back.”
At 72, Baker is the oldest manager in the metro, and Bocki will be the next oldest. They played in the same division from 1995 to 2002, when Baker was the Giants manager after Bochy reached the Padres.
Tony Beasley served as interim manager for the last 48 games and was interviewed after the season for the job. The beloved Beasley, the Rangers’ third manager since 2015, remains part of Bochy’s staff.
The last three Rangers managers, all hired by Daniels, were non-majors: Ron Washington, who led his two World Series teams; Jeff Bannister, who won two AL West titles; and Woodward. The last manager to come to Texas with previous experience in that role was Buck Showalter, who was there from 2003 to ’06.