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Bruce Bochy Does It Again

It has been 12 years since Texas has been to the WS.  It was Bruce Bochy’s SF Giants who bested Texas 4 games to 1 in their very first visit to the Fall Classic in 2010.  Ron Washington was the manager of the Rangers. Texas had some pretty good bats in 2010: Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler, Michael Young, Nelson Cruz, and Vlad Guerrero.  The top 2 pitchers were CJ Wilson and Colby Lewis.

In 2011, most of the Rangers core was back with the exception of Vlad Guerrero.  Vlad signed a FA deal with Baltimore, but Texas signed a FA of their own…Adrián Beltré.  In addition, Derek Holland had a breakout season to build up the rotation.  They won 96 games in 2011, 2nd only to NYY’s 97.  They beat Tampa Bay in the ALDS and Justin Verlander’s Detroit Tigers in the ALCS.

They faced St. Louis in the WS and if it were not for the heroics of David Freese, they might have won their 1st WS in 2011.   In Game 6, 9th inning down 2 runs, with a 2 runners on, 2 outs, and 2 strikes, David Freese hit a 2 run triple to tie the score.  Both teams scored a pair in the 10th.  The leadoff hitter in the bottom of the 11th, David Freese, hit a walk off HR to push it to Game 7 where RHSP Chris Carpenter took over for the Cardinals, and Texas lost 6-2 in Game 7.

Texas made the playoffs three out of the next five years, but could not win a series.  Following the 2016 season, Texas went into a tailspin:

  • 2017 – 78-84
  • 2018 – 67-95
  • 2019 – 78-84
  • 2020 – 22-38
  • 2021 – 60-102
  • 2022 – 68-94

Chris Young (AKA CY), was named Executive VP, General Manager.  The team lost 102 games in 2021, and Texas’ Owners (Ray Davis and Bob Simpson) told CY to go get players.  They spent $500MM on 2 SS, Corey Seager and Marcus Semien.  They spent another $56MM for RHSP Jon Gray.

CY also signed Donnie Ecker as the bench coach and Offensive Coordinator.

They did not get the results they were hoping for.  So CY was told to go get pitching.  For 2023, Texas signed Jacob deGrom for 5 years $185MM, Nathan Eovaldi for 2 years $34MM, Andrew Heaney for 2 years $25MM, and gave Martin Perez a QO and he accepted.

More importantly, CY flew to Nashville to meet with the retired Bruce Bochy and convinced him to take the Texas managerial job.

Texas lost deGrom very early to TJ surgery.  In spite of that, Texas got out to a big start and were up by 6.0 games on June 28.  Their offense took off under Ecker.  Their offense was so good that Texas had 4 starters named to the 2023 All Star Game… Corey Seager (SS), Marcus Semien (2B), Jonah Heim (C), and rookie Josh Jung (3B).  Adolis Garcia was named a starter replacing injured players.  5 All Star starters.  This is a good team, but will they have enough pitching?

CY was not done.  At the deadline, Texas traded for Max Scherzer that cost them elite OF prospect Luisangel Acuña (NYM #1 prospect, #38 overall),  They also traded for LHSP Jordan Montgomery and that cost was MLB reliever John King, and two non elite prospects, infielder Thomas Saggese and RHP Tekoah Roby.  While the Dodgers were spending a lot of time trying to acquire Nolan Arenado and Eduardo Rodriguez, Texas stepped in and traded for Montgomery.  While AF traded for Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly, Ryan Yarbrough7, and Amed Rosario, CY went big and acquired Max Scherzer and Jordan Montgomery.  Scherzer was hurt near the end of the season, but came back for the ALCS.  He improved a great deal from Game 3 to Game 7, and he should help Texas in the WS.

They fell out of the lead on August 27. The reclaimed the AL West lead on September 22.  They were 2.5 games ahead of Texas before entering a four game series with Seattle to end the season.  They lost 3 out of 4 to Seattle at the same time as Houston was beating Arizona 3 straight to win the AL West thanks to their 9-4 record against Texas in 2023.

Texas entered the playoffs with one of the best playoffs manager of all time.  Bochy was the manager for two teams that reached the WS (Padres and Giants), winning three with San Francisco.  Texas has a good analytics department, but Bochy manages with his eyes.

They dispatched Tampa Bay 2 games to 0 in the Wild Card series to reach the ALDS.  They followed that up with a sweep of the 101 win Baltimore Orioles to play divisional foe Houston.

Texas won the 1st two games in Houston and lost the next three in Arlington.  The third one (Game 5) was a heartbreaker.  Up 4-2 in the 9th with José Leclerc trying to close, Houston got the first two runners on and the current Mr. October, Jose Altuve, hit a 3-run HR and a 5-4 lead.

The ALCS went back to Houston.  After the loss, Texas certainly could have folded.  Instead they scored 20 runs thanks largely to Adolis Garcia (ALCS MVP).  Garcia hit 3 HRs and plated 9 RBIs in the final 2 games.  Bochy pulled his MadBum relief act with Jordan Montgomery relieving Max Scherzer in the 3rd.  Montgomery pitched through the 5th without allowing a run.  Texas needed help with a dilapidated bullpen, and Montgomery delivered.

Bruce Bochy is now going to be managing his third different team in the WS.  He is the first MLB manager to accomplish that feat.  A couple of years ago (before Roberts’ latest contract), to some I had the unmitigated gall to say that I was hoping the Dodgers would sign Bruce Bochy.  How dare I?  A Giants manager?  He was nothing compared to Dave Roberts.  Didn’t I realize that Doc had the best winning percentage of any MLB manager.  Bochy?  He was a below .500 manager.  Yeah, but he had been to the WS four times and won 3 of them, obviously with inferior teams, including the 2014 Giants team.

SF dispatched Bochy for Gabe Kapler because it was believed that Kapler was more analytical.  Bochy would have been happy staying in retirement waiting for his HOF induction.

Instead he is going back to the WS.  We do not yet know who the Rangers will be facing, as Philadelphia and Arizona are tied up 3 games each.  Philadelphia will be pitching LHSP Ranger Suarez while Arizona will be starting their rookie SP Brandon Pfaadt. Pfaadt has been the surprise pitcher throughout their NLDS and NLCS.  Can he do it in a Game 7?

I know we will get into it in more detail later during the Hot Stove League, but I am convinced that it is better than a 50-50 chance that Clayton Kershaw will join his friend Chris Young in Texas next year.

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Oldbear48

I have never liked Bochy. Not even when he was a player. But no one can deny his post season success’s. He is under .500 during the regular season, but his teams have won 2000 games, and lost 2000 games. Dusty Baker has a better regular season record by 90 games. Dusty has hinted that he is going to retire at age 74. Bochy had zero chance of being named the manager of the Dodgers since management is perfectly happy with Roberts. For the time being anyway. I think Baker is going to make it to the Hall as a manager. He has more wins than Lasorda. He has a World Series win, and two pennants. He was also manager of the year three times. Same as Bochy. Both are candidates for that honor again.

Jeff

Pretty much agree with what you wrote. Bochy will probably add another WS win to his resume. Both are destined for the HOF, IMO. Both Dodger killers and better than Lasorda.

norcaldodgerfan

Love CK and would like to see him back on a one-year deal, assuming he does not need shoulder surgery. If he decides to leave LA I hope it’s to retire and spend more time with the kids. He needs to go into the HoF with just one cap.

Alternatively, if he indeed leaves it wouldn’t be a complete disaster. Once Dodger fans work through the five stages of grief and coping that would come with his departure, comes the realization AF could use the $20+ million salary expense that CK occupies in a far better situation moving forward. I don’t consider his roster slot to be an albatross and even though he is of course always welcomed to come back (AF said as much in his post game presser) his decision to possibly leave could be a blessing for the FO.

Of course it also means my curse of buying T-shirts and jerseys of my favorite players only to see them leave the next year continues. Happened to me when I purchased a Rams Jared Goff jersey, a Bellinger T-Shirt, Seager jersey and now most likely a CK jersey I got for my birthday in August. If he indeed leaves I will always wear my CK jersey proudly because he is without question a first ballot HoF candidate, a great Dodger and the second best LH Dodger pitcher of all-time.

Oldbear48

If Kershaw is elected to the Hall, he will go in with a Dodger cap since the bulk of his playing career has been in LA. They do not allow the players to choose anymore. That is because Wade Boggs, who played very shortly with the Rays, was going to choose a Rays cap. Now players with multiple teams usually go in with a blank cap.

norcaldodgerfan

I realize that but it was meant more in jest in that it would be awesome if he just played for one team in his HoF career not that a decision would need to be made as to what cap to wear.

Oldbear48

Yes, I get it. The Hall has altered the rules because they want the plaque to represent the players peak years. Most players choose the team they had the most success with. Fred McGriff has no logo on his cap. They put Boggs in with the Red Sox logo.

Singing the Blue

I can understand Seager, JT and Bellinger, but what’s the deal with Alex Wood?

Singing the Blue

OK, then. Wear it proudly!

Oldbear48

I have Kersh, Koufax, a military green Seager, Adrian Gonzalez, Gibson, Robinson, Bellinger and Freeman. I also have a Ted Williams Red Sox jersey and an old wool Brooklyn uni from the early 40’s.

Fred Vogel

How ’bout a picture of that Brooklyn uni?

Dionysus

Dave Roberts is great blah blah blah

tedraymond

I’m happy for Corey Seager to have another opportunity to play in a World Series. He continues to be successful in the playoffs. He has had a nice postseason so far, but nothing like his teammate Adolis Garcia. To think any team could have had this guy a couple of years ago for basically nothing is amazing. To compare Texas’s offensive output in this series to what the Dodgers produced is mind-blowing.

I’m hoping the Phils win the game tonight just to make the World Series interesting and more competitive. And, for my neighbor. He is pulling for his hometown team now that the Dodgers aren’t involved. It will be painful (and boring) if Arizona somehow wins this series. If that happens, how many fans outside of Dallas and Phoenix are going to be watching the World Series?

Watching the Rangers destroy Houston’s #8 ranked pitching staff and compare that to the Dodgers being totally shut down by Arizona’s #20 rank staff is certainly discouraging. What can the Dodgers do to correct this? I, Dave Roberts, and the front office have no idea. Maybe, they should ask Chris Young or Mike Hazen.

Carry on.

Bobby

Go Arizona tonight! Screw Philly and it’s trashy fans.

Bluto

Really?

I find this Phillies team and their relationship with fans endearing and fun.

Bumsrap

Maybe if you scratch MOM in the dirt next to 1st base.

Badger

Bochy looks like grandpa at Thanksgiving dinner. He just sits there staring blankly straight ahead. His players are playing well. It’s like they’re saying “let’s win it for grandpa!”

I’ll say it til my dying day. It’s the players. It’s ALWAYS the players.

I have no jerseys. Never had one, though I drove through New Jersey a couple of times. Had a smell to it. Like it hadn’t been washed in a while.

Arizona is playing better than I expected. Phillies occasionally look drugged, but I do expect them to be sober tonight. Pfaadt can’t do it again, right? A rookie with 5.72 ERA? No. Phillies are going to clobber him.

Last edited 5 months ago by Badger
Bumsrap

I’m not usually a Texas fan but I sure was last night. Now I want AZ to win it all. AZ winning will motivate the Dodgers a bit more.

Oldbear48

No thanks, I can’t stand the D-Backs. And I totally agree with you Badger. Managers get too much credit when a team wins and too much blame when they lose. Bochy doesn’t win a thing without his players playing well. He won three World Series and 2 pennants in his 26 years as a manager. If he is so good, what happened the other 21 seasons? Sorry, it is always the players.

Singing the Blue

What’s with the hatred (or maybe it’s intense dislike) for the D’backs?

Oldbear48

I lived in Phoenix for 12 years. I went to a few D-Backs games. Fans are obnoxious and unknowledgeable. I do not like it when teams in the WEST win and we don’t, Seems like a natural reaction to me.

Singing the Blue

At least Texas and Az have 2 starting pitchers.
We had none.

Roberts vs Bochy. Maybe it all comes down to who would you play harder for, a cheer leader or your grandpa?

Bumsrap

What’s your beef with AZ?

Oldbear48

I don’t like them period. They have changed their uniforms a couple of times, I am more of a traditionalist. Same thing with Miami. I think All MLB teams should dump the city connect unis. Most are awful. And I lived in that toilet for 12 years. There is nothing great about that city.

Badger

I remember a few years ago when Texas wanted to secede from the nation. I said “let ‘em”. I’ve become softer in my stance as I got older. I take a “who cares” position these days.

I’m glad it’s not Houston, would have preferred the Angels (yeah, I know) but now it’s whoever wins the NL pennant. And I might watch only a few innings if it’s Philadelphia Texas, but will read about it. I was never really a dbacks fan, but I lived in Arizona 11 years and liked it there. Went to many games at Chase. It’s a decent ballpark, lots of great seats available and no traffic leaving the area.

Last edited 5 months ago by Badger
Oldbear48

Fan support for the team is pitiful. The park usually is full of the opposing fans. I got fed up with them when they did not want any Dodger fans sitting in those field level seats behind home plate.

Bumsrap

Keep Preller in his office and clubhouse issues improve.

Singing the Blue

I think the Giants made their decision the minute Preller said yes to the interview.

SD should see if they can get Dusty to postpone his retirement by a year or two. He’s been a success everywhere he’s gone

Bumsrap

I’m wondering what kind of team does Friedman want to create to begin the 2024 season. Will there be an emphasis on pitching and defense with more speed and more bat to ball skills or one more like 2023. Asking that question in the way I did may not accurately define the 2023 season for it suggests it lacked the stated ingredients.

Whatever the plan is it will depend on whether Friedman can sign the free agents he wants or make the trades he wants to make.

I want more speed and defense. I want players that can hit the homerun but will also be willing to go with the pitch. I prefer a player with 25 home runs with an .800+ OPS less dependent on walks and home runs.

Maybe May and Gonsolin will be back in 2025 and if so then a trade for a one year rental would be a good move. Bieber comes to mind if he were expected to be healthy again. Same with Burnes other than he would cost more.

I am high on Buehler, Miller, Pepiot, Sheehan, and have hopes for Stone. I like Grove as well and would rather see him in a piggyback role than strictly relief. Obviously the rotation would be better with Yamamoto.

My infield: Freeman, Betts, Lux, Witt Jr. DeLuca looks to be an athlete and I am intrigued with the idea of converting him to 3rd base.

Badger

We sign Ohtani we have the top three hitters in our lineup hitting over .900 OPS. The rest of the lineup can OPS over .800, we score 950 runs. Yay team!

Hopefully the pitching will remain healthy and won’t finish middle of the pack. Yamamoto at the front of the rotation will help with that. Bullpen should be good. Defense should be better if Muncy isn’t out there. Speed? 950 runs. We don’t need no steenking speed.

Any updates on the injured relievers Feyereisen, Treinen and Hudson?

Bumsrap

“Speed never slumps” — I can’t remember if Mark Twain or Genghis Khan first said that.

Badger

Might have been Walter White or Truman Capote.

Last edited 5 months ago by Badger
Oldbear48

We all have opinions about who is a good manager and who is not. I couldn’t stand Alston. But he was successful. I always blamed him for 1962. His decision to send Roebuck back out for the 9th was puzzling to me. I always thought he should have let Drysdale come in and save that game. The pen was gassed. But he wanted to save Big D for the first game of the World Series forgetting you have to get there first.

Badger

Man your Way Back Machine is kept tuned up and ready to go isn’t it. Ed Roebuck? Yeah, I remember the name, watched him pitch no doubt, but don’t recall any specifics.

I like Roberts. Don’t know why the players go flat in in the playoffs, but I doubt it’s anything he does or doesn’t does.

October? Oh, we’re pleading, begging, on our knees,

Come on you Flatbush refugees!

My way back machine sputters, but it still gets me places on occasion.

Last edited 5 months ago by Badger
Badger

Has a team that finished 16 games behind in their own division ever been to the World Series?

dbacks rookies look better than ours.

Bumsrap

AZ doesn’t look like the team folks on this blog want the Dodgers to look like next year.

Badger

I believe you’re right about all of that.

They only won 84 games. That’s just 3 wins above .500. They got hot at the right time.

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