Bruce Bochy, manager of the San Francisco Giants, is only signed through the 2019 season. Making Bruce a free agent and a hot commodity in 2020. I feel that the White Sox should move fast, before other struggling or rebuilding teams make Bruce an offer that he can’t refuse. Bruce has had great success throughout his career, as manager of the Giants/Padres he has won 3 World Series titles, 4 National League Pennants, 6 NL West Division Titles, and has been to the playoffs 8 times. This kind of success is hard to find, and it won’t come cheap, but the White Sox could benefit from a manager with this level of experience.
Bruce has 23 years of managing experience. He has been around many different players from different generations. So, the transition from an aging Giants team to a young White Sox team, will not be an issue. In fact, when the Giants made their first World Series run in 2010 they had the 9th youngest pitching staff in MLB and they had the best ERA (3.36) in the MLB. Throughout the Giants historic 5-year run, they would lean heavily on the pitching staff, that would deliver 3 titles in 5 seasons. Some of those great young pitchers include Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Madison Bumgarner. Over a 13 year span from 2006-2018, The Giants had a collective ERA of 3.87. Easily in the top 10 over that span.
Under Bruce Bochy’s tutelage, Timmy “The Freak” Lincecum, earned 2 consecutive Cy Young Awards (2008/2009) and made 4 All-Star teams. His sidekick, Matt Cain, earned 3 All-Star appearances, a perfect game, and finished 6th in the 2012 NL Cy Young vote. The youngest buck in the rotation, Madison “Mad-Bum” Bumgarner, was the Giants Superman in the postseason. Madison’s arm was the one arm the Giants, “could bank on,” during the 2014 Postseason. He was so dominant he earned the 2014 World Series MVP. Mad-Bum is a free agent in 2020 too, the Sox should recruit both, Madison can be the Sox, “Jon Lester,” and provide the veteran leadership to the White Sox rotation.
Imagine Kopech’s return in 2020, from Tommy John surgery to a manager who has built a winning reputation by managing young pitching. Kopech can be the White Sox Tim Lincecum, a young, lean, long-haired, power pitcher sent to us from the great state of Texas. Lopez could be the Matt Cain, a young flamethrower. Finally, the Sox can sign Madison as our #1 SP, he will only be 30ish by Opening Day and should have another 4-5 years of solid production left. Pair all that with Cease and Rodon, and you have a scary, young rotation that’ll have Bochy salivating all over his well-manicured mustache. Plus, we have some top-notch flamethrowers in Burdi, Hansen, Fulmer, and Giolito to form as another starter or bullpen.
The pitching isn’t the only thing that Bochy could handle. His offense hasn’t been big on power. Since 2008, he hasn’t had a 30 HR hitter and many years he didn’t even have a 20 HR hitter. What Bruce was good at, is pure hitting. Guys like Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, Hunter Pence, Melky Cabrera, and Aubrey Huff, had strong batting averages and timely hitting. He can teach the young Sox players how to win without the long ball, which is a lost art today.
Bochy is kind of like Jim Leyland to me. Leyland won with the Florida (now Miami) Marlins with a young team. Later, he went over to Detroit who was young and ready to start competing. He went on to a couple World Series and multiple division titles with the Tigers. He also was able to convince management to trade for a star, Miguel Cabrera, kind of like the Sox recruiting of MadBum next offseason. Hell, they even have the grown man Stache. Bochy’s consistent winning deserves to make him a top candidate for this team. Hell, Ricky has been duped before, he will get paid out and the Sox could have their “Joe Maddon,” who can lead them to the promised land.