Bruce Bochy is a good manager. There’s no way around that one, he’s got the wins to back him up. And he gives plenty of press time, talks well enough, and knows the game backwards. When you have a conversation with him, it feels normal, like you were talking baseball with a knowledgeable guy. If there’s a weird phrasing in there, you work the sentence around the quotes and get the most important piece out of the conversation.
But in the postseason you get transcripts of these conversations. And, well, they’re unfair.
Q. Belt caught stealing, was there a sign missed?
BRUCE BOCHY: I’d say it’s kind of, you know, but it’s — I’ll leave it at that.
Q. After the throw, your third baseman went down, the trainer went out; what was hurting?
BRUCE BOCHY: I don’t know, I haven’t — you talking about Pablo?
Q. Why is Vogelsong a good man to be pitching this fourth game?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, he’s one of our starters.
That’s just three random questions in one ten-minute press conference after the game. With a slight bit of context taken out in each case. Seen this way, these real-life answers paint a silly picture.
But if you were having a conversation with him in the dugout before a game, you would have learned that he didn’t really want to leave his first baseman out to dry, that he doesn’t think of his players by their role, and that he has confidence in Ryan Vogelsong.
Try transcribing a random conversation you have with your friends and you’ll see. Transcriptions are unfair, in a way.
With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A's or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.
The Mattingly comments after last night’s game about ‘playing baseball’ were great.