Everything that Texas Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said during his media session at the Major League Baseball winter meetings on Tuesday at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Conference Center. Transcript courtesy of by ASAP Sports.
Q. What’s the last month been like reveling in your championship?
BRUCE BOCHY: It’s been good. It’s been quiet the last two, three weeks, though. Took a little vacation down in Florida. Got a little fishing in. Spent Thanksgiving with some family.
But it was fun to look back and reflect a little bit on everything and what a special season it was, which I hope everybody does. It’s pretty cool what happened. You have to savor these things.
It’s been a good month. It’s good to catch your breath. I’m not going to lie about that.
Q. Have you had any discussions with the club about changing your contract or an extension?
BRUCE BOCHY: Oh, no, no. I’m under contract. No, no. I haven’t had any discussion, no.
Q. You were able to have a conversation with Jim Leyland after he got in?
BRUCE BOCHY: I missed him. He went back and I talked to Tony, and he said that he had already flown back. I am disappointed I missed him. I’ve staying at home. I haven’t been hanging around here all day, but I’ll find a way to get ahold of him, and that’s pretty cool.
Q. Pretty thrilled when you heard the news?
BRUCE BOCHY: I was thrilled for him. Absolutely thrilled. He has done a lot for the game. A tremendous job he did managing. It’s good to see him getting rewarded like this. A special day, I’m sure, for him. I couldn’t even imagine how he felt. I’ll catch up with him at some point.
Q. When you look at the club, what do you think you guys need to repeat?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, first of all, I love what we have here right now as far as guys not being free agents, the core guys that we have. Particularly you look on the positions side, it’s nice to have all these guys coming back.
Yeah. We’re missing -- we’ll have some that are free agents. Mitch Garver, that’s not going to be easy to replace. Not that that can’t happen, but he’s a free agent.
Jankowski, Grossman, those guys did a tremendous job for us, with what we went through with injuries, and they played a huge part in our success. I don’t want to leave anybody out there on the pitching side. Even if you look at even somebody like Will Smith, he played a big role in helping us get to where we got there.
I think if you look at our club, I think it’s fair to say we’re looking at a starter to see if we can get a starter there. An arm in the pen to help out there. We’re looking at our best options as far as maybe a bat. These are things that we’re talking about now.
Q. What about Evan Carter convinced you that the postseason moment wouldn’t be too big for him?
BRUCE BOCHY: I said this a few times. It started in Spring Training. I got a chance to play this kid a lot and just see the makeup of Evan and the confidence, the calmness that he has, even-keeled. He has an even presence that you like especially from a young player. That’s where it started.
Then when we brought him up, we hit him ninth and then put him in three-hole. That didn’t affect him. Put him in a five-hole. Nothing seemed to bother him. He just plays the game for the love of it. That’s a beautiful thing. So that’s why I think he doesn’t feel pressure. He’s enjoying himself out there playing the game. I didn’t think he would be affected by the postseason.
Now, he might have been a little bit more than what he showed, but I can tell you there sure wasn’t any signs that this guy had any nerves going on.
Q. What conversations have you had with Sewald and with Mike Maddux about the toll that that extra month takes on pitchers and how you guys potentially are trying to deal with that?
BRUCE BOCHY: We have talked about how important it is for us to take care of our pitching staff, our starters, and relievers, the workload. There’s always a little adjustment I think when you go deep in the postseason and are playing into November, starting out in Spring Training. But at the same time you have to make sure they’re ready, ready to start the season too.
There’s a fine line there. But during the season pick your spots. When to let them go, when to get them out early, things like that where you can maybe help them out. Yeah, we’ve had discussions about it.
Q. You’ve had this experience. Does it have an impact on pitchers?
BRUCE BOCHY: I don’t think as much as people think. I don’t. Today’s game is a little bit different. My previous experience, those guys were logging over 200 innings. We didn’t have anybody really come close to that but Dane, so a little bit different.
But they trained a little bit different too. It’s all about adjusting to where they’re at. I think it’s fair to say guys are getting a little bit older. You need to keep a little more of a watchful eye on them to get as many starts as you can from them. Maybe pick a spot where you skip them, things like that.
Q. Off of Evan’s question, going back to the Giants, do you feel that all the extra playoff innings over the course of the years had an impact on shortening the careers of Lincecum Cain, and Bumgarner?
BRUCE BOCHY: I think they had pretty good careers. I do. I don’t know how you answer that question. They had really nice careers.
I think you look at some guys who did it a lot before their time. There’s a ton of pitchers that pitched for 20 years. That’s a tough question to answer, but I will say they did carry a lot of the workload. There’s no doubt about that.
I think looking back, we picked our spots where we could take care of them too. But that was a time when you let pitchers go a little bit more than you do now. The game has changed a little bit.
Q. Do you like the idea of having a DH that rotates, that’s not just a bat, that you have some versatility and utility there?
BRUCE BOCHY: I think you look at your club to see what makes sense. I mean, if you have an impact bat that doesn’t play a position, I’m good with that. I mean, you look at -- well, when it’s David Ortiz, somebody like that, sure, those are game-changers. But if not, I think it’s good to have a guy in there you can rotate around, and you give everybody a break.
It’s not a bad thing if you don’t have the typical DH that some teams have.
Q. With respect to Carter, where is his ideal spot in the lineup?
BRUCE BOCHY: I think he could have three, four spots, to be honest.
Q. A lot of people have said lead-off.
BRUCE BOCHY: Lead-off could be a spot. Right now it’s not a spot, but, yeah, I think he would be a good lead-off hitter. I think he would be a good two-hole hitter. He has not hit in the two-hole right now. We hit him at three and at five and even clean-up. We covered those four there.
I don’t know where you couldn’t hit him. We hit him ninth, and that was nice how he turned over the lineup and got to the top of our order.
A guy like that with his discipline and his ability to get the barrel on the ball and hit the way he does, he fits anywhere in your lineup. He can adjust to the pitcher that you are facing that day.
Q. I’d like to point out that I didn’t ask the first lineup-related question.
BRUCE BOCHY: I was a little stunned too.
Q. There is a few new managers coming in this season. What do you think is important for them to understand about making decision off the art form of it, off instinct versus weighing that with the information available?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I think you take it all in, your information. I mean, we’re all getting that. We get it, and we use it, but you use your eye. You look at how the players are playing, and what comes with that is your instincts. They could play a part on what you feel. I think that’s an important part for a manager. I do.
And the more reps you get doing it, the easier it gets, I think. I mean, it’s easier now in our game to look and question a move more than ever, because you get the data. You can say, well, he is hitting this off this guy, or that matchup wasn’t good, whatever. So it is probably a little bit more difficult.
But with that said, we’re dealing with human beings. Some things don’t show up on a spreadsheet. How they’re feeling that day, how they’re swinging that week, how they’re throwing the ball, things like that, all that has to come into play.
Q. Expansion has been a hot topic throughout the league for the last few years, and with it there’s rumors that Nashville could be a landing spot for a team. Having spent a lot of time here, do you have any thoughts on Nashville as a potential Major League Baseball market?
BRUCE BOCHY: I hope it happens. I’ve been in this city now going on three years. What a wonderful city, area. I’m south of here a little bit, but I think it’s certainly prime to got a Major League team. It has football. It has hockey. I’ve been to both. It’s growing.
It’s an exciting city. I think all the people I know that are here, they’re having a great time. After the meetings, getting out, having dinners, and going to various places, listening to music, things like that. There’s a lot of action in this city. Yeah, I think it’s prime, and I’m certainly hoping it happens.
Q. What was your feeling about winning a World Series again nine years after you won your previous one? I think that’s pretty unparalleled in baseball history.
BRUCE BOCHY: Nine years after last one?
BRUCE BOCHY: You know, Barry, I got back in to get to the postseason and win a World Series. Now, for it to happen the first year, it’s amazing what those guys did. For this to happen, it really turned a dream into reality right away, and that was some kind of ride. It’s all, again, what the players did out there. Tremendous, tremendous ride that I certainly enjoyed. I’m thankful. I’m blessed.
I’m in such a great situation with ownership and, of course, our front office, C.Y., and such great (indiscernible) guy that just had so much determination and so much heart and were so unselfish. Just did not give up trying to win the World Series. It was quite a year. For me personally, I just look back at what those guys did, I’m amazed.
Q. (Indiscernible) do you think about the names that you’re with?
A. I don’t. I don’t. I was just talking to Tony La Russa, and he was talking about it. When you hear from somebody like Tony, it certainly means a lot obviously. But I’ll never stop saying how lucky and blessed I am to be doing this as long as I’ve been doing it and where I’ve done it and the people I’ve had playing for me, the people I’ve been working for, ownership, things like that.
I’m pretty fortunate to be in such a great situation here.
Q. (Indiscernible) he said that your experience level of being through so many of these situations over and over again is one of the reasons that you’re as good as what you do. You give a lot of credit to the players, which is justifiable. But how much of being through all of this and being able to use the players in the correct place for them to succeed is a part of it?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I’ll say this, Barry. I think with anything you do, you guys writing or whatever work you’re in, the more you do it, the more reps, hopefully you get a little better at what you do. I’m still trying to get better. Trust me. I don’t think I’ve arrived, but that certainly helps me with my decision-making I think when you can draw on past experiences.
Not just in Major Leagues. In Minor Leagues. I remember going back to those playoffs. I was nervous in those playoffs. You try to draw on those times and experiences that you have down there, so same with the players. The more they get in there, the better they perform because a big part of our game, sure, you have to have the talent and the toughness, but you have to have the emotional control, and that’s performing under pressure. I think that can apply for managers too.
Q. How hard is it to repeat?
BRUCE BOCHY: How hard? I don’t know how to quantify that, but it’s really difficult. I’ll say that. It’s hard to win one time. To repeat, yeah, it’s really difficult.
Q. Is there anything from your experience in San Francisco that you could kind of give to C.Y. or give to Mike or give to your club about as hard as we think it is to repeat, it’s even harder? Is there anything that stands out from those experiences?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, we’ve talked a little bit about it. The biggest part of it -- there’s two important elements in this. One is stay healthy. That’s always a big part. Keep your guys healthy. With this core that we have, we certainly feel like we should get to the postseason.
Now, you get to the postseason, you have a shot at doing it. So to me that’s probably as important as anything.
The other one is staying hungry. You’ve got to want it. You can’t get complacent. You have to want it. That’s the second, I think, big element.
Q. How important is this offseason for Carter, having two months of experience, going into this winter, preparing for Spring Training, and having a taste of what it’s like playing -- (indiscernible).
BRUCE BOCHY: You are talking about Evan?
BRUCE BOCHY: I missed the question part. Sorry.
Q. How important is it this offseason now that he has reps, being he kind of knows what the expectations are?
BRUCE BOCHY: When a guy gets a chance to play in the Major Leagues and, of course, in the postseason, he has an idea what it’s about. The unknown factor is out now, and he knows he can play in the Major Leagues. He has shown that.
Once you do it, you can do it again. That’s not there for him as he goes into Spring Training. He has that experience and knows what it’s like to play in the Major Leagues. The kind of pitching he is going to have to handle and the defense he has to play and things like that, he’ll go in Spring Training with that much more confidence.
Q. Given how well Sborz and Leclerc performed in the postseason, how confident are you in their ability to carry that into next year?
BRUCE BOCHY: Really, really confident. That saved us with those two finding their game at the right time. We’ve talked numerous times about Jose. Starting the season, he wasn’t quite healthy. He got healthy and was throwing the ball the way he normally throws the ball: velocity, the slider, and the changeup, everything.
Sborzy got derailed a couple of times, and he bounced back. Then, of course, what he did in the postseason was like the run he had during the season and was locked in with his command of all his pitches.
I fully expect them to come into Spring Training and be those guys that we had and have that much more confidence. They did it. They did it during the season, but now to do it and throw like that during the postseason, that’s even raises their confidence that much more.
Q. C.Y. said that he fully expects this roster to be better, that the team should be better next year at least in the regular season wins-wise. Do you feel the same way? There’s a lot of wins left off the board.
BRUCE BOCHY: I agree, sure. Sure. I think you look at our season, we let some wins get away. It got a little bumpy there with the bullpen trying to get that in order. That was a challenge. Now we have Carter. We have some pieces to add, though, to complete the club here.
I fully agree. That’s how we have to feel.