July 12, 2011
GIANTS PAGE GIANTSVIDEO
PHOENIX -- It's a familiar sight for national audiences by now: Brian Wilson crossing his arms on the mound as Bruce Bochy turns to hug or shake the hands of his coaches to celebrate another victory on one of the game's biggest stages.It played out again Tuesday night at the annual MLB All-Star Game, which Bochy's National League won in a relatively stress-free affair against the American League, 5-1.
The victory gave the NL home-field advantage in the World Series for the second consecutive season, and it served as further evidence that when it comes to handling a pitching staff, particularly his bullpen, Bochy has few peers.The Giants' skipper is always quick to credit the contributions of the rest of his staff, and it's not hollow or insincere praise.
But Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti wasn't part of Bochy's staff when he managed an overachieving lot in San Diego to division titles and a World Series appearance, nor was Giants bullpen coach Mark Gardner.No, the only common denominator as far as the respective pitching staffs are concerned is Bochy, who used nine non-Giants pitchers Tuesday before turning to his own closer, Wilson, with runners at second and third and one out in the ninth inning."He's my guy," Bochy said by way of typically simple explanation.Wilson rewarded him with two fairly quick outs to wrap things up, and afterward Bochy deftly deflected questions about his decision to use Phillies pitchers Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee over his own stellar starters, Tim Lincecum and Ryan Vogelsong.What Bruce said: The Phillies pitchers deserved it more.What Bruce likely told his own guys: I'm gonna feed the media some magnanimous garbage in the name of keeping y'all fresh for the second half.What Lincecum and Vogelsong likely said in return: Dude, it's all good. No need to explain. But we appreciate that you did.That's Bochy. Clever media manipulator, staff-handling genius and respected leader of the men with whom he works.Oh, and he's one more thing, too: Winner. Frequently. Time and again.