Bruce Bochy really needed three years off.
Bochy, who last week completed a remarkable feat by winning a World Series in his first year managing a Texas Rangers team that lost 94 games in 2022, went on KNBR-AM’s “Murph and Mac” radio show on Tuesday and revealed why he needed to retire after managing the San Francisco Giants for the last time in 2019.
He needed to rest, mentally and physically, he said.
“I’m still recovering from all the work I had done,” he said. “I’m a little bit like Frankenstein. Once I retired in San Francisco, I had back surgery and a couple hips and a knee replaced. That was the biggest thing I had to do to be able to come back.”
In San Francisco, Bochy won three World Series titles to go with 1,052 regular season wins and a .500 winning percentage over 13 years managing the Giants from 2007 through ‘19.
He told “Murph and Mac” that he wasn’t sure if he’d ever manage again.
“I didn’t know if I’d be able to come back, I didn’t,” he said. “I took three years off. I never called anybody. But just watching the game, you just have a deeper appreciation for the game and the things you missed.”
It wasn’t until he managed Team France in the World Baseball Classic last year that the 68-year-old said he finally realized he wanted to manage again.
“I got in that dugout and that’s when it hit me,” he said. “I said, ‘man, I miss this.’”
He never stopped watching baseball at home.
“I was watching all the Giants games,” he said. “As time went on, I started missing it more and more. You’d think it’d be the other way, you get used to it and think, ‘OK I’m good.’
“The first year I was fine, the second year it built up and the third year I really had a craving to get back in. And it couldn’t have worked out better when (Rangers general manager) Chris Young, who had pitched for me, gave me a call.”
Bochy inherited a Rangers team loaded with talent and an opening day payroll of $194 million. But the Rangers had underperformed the last two years, losing a combined 196 games.
By turning the Rangers around and winning his fourth World Series title, Bochy became just the sixth manager ever to win four.
Joe McCarthy and Casey Stengel each have seven World Series wins as managers, Connie Mack has five and Walter Alston, Joe Torre and Bochy have four.
Bochy, whose 2,093 career wins rank No. 10 all-time, said he’s been overwhelmed by the love and support from folks with ties to the Giants.
“That’s a big part of my life there in San Francisco,” he said. “We had a place there. My son, he still works there. It just blows me away the support that I have from San Francisco because you’re always a little leery, you know?
“You make a change, and then they go, ‘well, wait a minute, we thought you retired, and now you’re going to another club.’ Or, ‘hey, you’re cheating on us,’ or something. You know what I mean? But that was not the case. A big piece of my life, a big piece of my heart is there in San Francisco, and those are memories I’ll never forget.”