Giants manager Bruce Bochy waved farewell for the final time to Wrigley Field, a place he almost called home.
Before the Cubs’ 1-0 victory against the Giants on Thursday, Bochy was honored at home plate with a No. 15 tile from the scoreboard. He was joined by team president Theo Epstein, manager Joe Maddon and bench coach Mark Loretta and received a standing ovation.
“What a nice gesture,” said Bochy, who announced his plans to retire after this season in spring training. “These moments are special to me, they really are. I’ll miss coming here, such a great atmosphere. Not so great in this series for us, but really, really nice. And it’s a nice moment to have.
“I know it’s coming to an end. I’m not really thinking about it because these games are so important, but when something like that happens, it does make you reflect a little bit.”
More than a decade ago, the Cubs almost hired Bochy as their manager. After Dusty Baker was fired in 2006, the Cubs narrowed their pool of candidates to Bochy and Lou Piniella. The Cubs ultimately hired Piniella.
It’s hard to imagine how different Bochy’s career would’ve been if he managed on the North Side. But not getting the Cubs’ job set him up for success with the Giants, with whom he has won three World Series.
He’s one of the last of his kind as baseball has turned into a more data-driven game. Though Bochy is old-school in a modern sense, having started with the Padres in 1995, he has adapted to new-school ways.
Both Chicago managers have similar managing styles to Bochy’s.
White Sox manager Rick Renteria recently got heated after he was questioned about his decision-making when it comes to his batting order. He defended his decisions, saying he relies more on his instincts than analytics.
“I’m not going to appeal to the sabermetrician on a daily basis. Never will. Never want to. Not my intent,” Renteria said Wednesday. “If they don’t like it, I don’t really give a s---.”
Maddon worries about the future of the game. But he’s hopeful that a major-league manager’s instincts will be appreciated more moving forward.
“A lot of our game is feel,” he said. “I want to believe that it’ll eventually be analyzed to the point where it’s going to be recognized that, yes, that person can make a difference.”
Bully for Yu
One year ago, Cubs starter Yu Darvish was shut down for the remainder of the season with an elbow injury. But on Thursday, Darvish was shutting up an outspoken TV personality.
David Kaplan, who hosts NBC Sports Chicago’s Cubs pregame and postgame shows, criticized Darvish on Twitter for being “too predictable” after he allowed three home runs on the same pitch in Wednesday’s win.
Darvish defended his pitch decisions and corrected Kaplan’s incorrect stats regarding his season.
“You can’t win agains [sic] Cubs database,” Darvish tweeted.
On a roll
The Cubs stayed hot at home, winning for the 16th time in their last 19 games at Wrigley Field. But this weekend they’ll face a Nationals team that has been hot everywhere.
The National League wild-card leaders have won eight of their last 10 and are one of two NL teams with a higher run differential than the Cubs. The Dodgers are the runaway leaders.