San Francisco Giants Manager Bruce Bochy has led the Giants to a surprising 2-0 series lead in the World Series, and is two wins away from bringing the first World Series title to the San Francisco Giants. However, if it wasn’t for the Chicago Cubs hiring Lou Piniella after the 2006 season, Bochy and the San Francisco Giants may not even be in the World Series. As, according to Chris De Luca of the Chicago Sun Times, had Lou Piniella gotten his wish and became the Manager of the New York Yankees instead of the Cubs, the Cubs would have then hired Bruce Bochy as their next manager.
This is actually some what surprising, considering that at the time many felt that Joe Girardi was the Chicago Cubs backup option to Lou Piniella. Which probably makes the Chicago Cubs decision to go with Lou Pineilla look even worse, considering the success that Bochy has brought to San Francisco.
You have got to look at the turnaround that the San Francisco Giants had under Bochy, and wonder if Bochy would have seen more success with the Chicago Cubs than Lou Piniella did. While Piniella was getting swept out of the playoffs in 2007 and 2008, Bochy was silently rebuilding the San Francisco Giants. Then in 2009, when the Chicago Cubs were one of the biggest disappointments of the year with 83 wins, the San Francisco Giants were one of the season’s biggest surprises with 88 wins.
Which brings us to the 2010 season, where Lou Piniella essentially turned his back on the Cubs, and Bochy was managed the Giants to first place in the National League West and now has brought the Giants within two games of winning the World Series.
Also, Bochy has succeeded in San Francisco with far less resources than what Lou Piniella had with the Chicago Cubs. When watching Bochy manage, you can tell that he has an excellent knowledge of the game. Watching the postseason this year, you would discover that Bochy had very good situational thinking during specific game scenarios. Whether it is deciding who to pinch hit, when to take out the starting pitcher, who to bring in from the bullpen he has mastered the ability to play “chess” with the opposing team’s manager during games. Something that Chicago Cubs fans failed to see under the leadership of Lou Piniella.
This again shows why Jim Hendry made the wrong decision in 2006, when he hired Lou Piniella as the Chicago Cubs manager. Instead of going with the guy that offers the most baseball intelligence and is a better fit for the Chicago Cubs, Hendry picks the manager who made his name from past success, and has the national appeal. I’m not saying that Bochy would have been the manager to lead the Chicago Cubs to the World Series, but after watching what he has done with San Francisco, you have to think he gave the Cubs better chances than Lou Piniella.