By STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Baseball Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Bruce Bochy has won a World Series in Texas, something the Rangers haven’t done. Now he is coming out of a three-year retirement in hopes of getting the home team back there.
Bochy, who won the first of his World Series titles with the San Francisco Giants in the old Rangers ballpark in 2010, was introduced Monday by the Texas general manager who pitched for the manager in San Diego four years before that.
“One of the things I told Boch when we offered him the job. I said, I’m not doing this because I loved you when I played for you. I’m doing this because we believe as an organization, you’re the right person to lead us into the future,” GM Chris Young said. “Boch fit every part of our criteria.”
Bochy hasn’t managed since 2019, when he stepped away after 13 seasons and those World Series titles with the Giants, which followed 12 seasons with the Padres. The top choice in the search, Bochy said he was convinced after extended conversations with Young.
“Some have asked why. Well, the simple answer is, I miss this game,” Bochy said. “We talked many hours about the team and the culture that he wanted to create. And I was in.”
The 67-year-old Bochy got a three-year contract. The former big league catcher, who began his playing career in Houston has 2,002 career wins in 25 seasons as a manager, and also took the Padres to their last World Series in 1998.
The Rangers were 68-94 this season and had 35 one-run losses, a franchise record. It was their sixth consecutive losing season, the longest streak for the franchise in the half-century since moving to Texas in 1972. They haven’t even had a winning record since being 10-9 early in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, and lost 102 games last year.
After clinching the 2010 World Series with a Game 5 victory in Texas, San Francisco added titles in 2012 and 2014. The Rangers returned to the World Series in 2011, and lost in seven games to St. Louis.
“I had a hard time getting over 2010, but then after I got over 2010, I thought was a pretty good idea,” Rangers primary owner Ray Davis said about when Young presented Bochy as his choice before meeting with him. “It took about 10 minutes into the process where I was sold.”
Fourth-year Rangers manager Chris Woodward was fired Aug. 15, two days before the team also let go of president of baseball operations Jon Daniels — who was the GM for their two World Series teams, and division titles in 2015 and 2016.
Bochy takes over a Rangers roster that was bolstered last offseason when a half-billion dollars was committed in free agency to long-term contracts for Corey Seager ($325 million, 10 years) and second baseman Marcus Semien ($175 million, seven years). Top prospect third baseman Josh Jung was among prospects who made their big league debuts.
“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t want to help bring a championship here to Texas,” Bochy said.
Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker said Bochy is one of his favorites guys, and one of the best managers around.
“I wish he was in the other division. But I’m glad he’s back. … A great baseball man, baseball mind. One more for the old dudes,” Baker said before the Astros won the AL Championship Series to get to their fourth World Series in six seasons. “I had a feeling he would be back.”
Baker is the oldest manager in the majors at 72, and Bochy will be the next-oldest. They managed in the same division from 1995 to 2002, when Baker was the Giants manager after Bochy got to the Padres.
Tony Beasley served as interim manager for the final 48 games and was interviewed after the season for the job. The beloved Beasley, the Rangers third base coach since 2015, is staying to be a part of Bochy’s staff.
The last three Rangers managers, all hired by Daniels, hadn’t managed in the big league before: Ron Washington, who led their two World Series teams; Jeff Banister, who won two AL West titles; and Woodward. The last manager who had come to Texas with previous experience in that role was Buck Showalter, who was there from 2003-06.
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