Bochy happy with NL All-Star picks

Bochy happy with NL All-Star picks

Bochy happy with NL All-Star picks
SAN FRANCISCO -- After managing his first All-Star Game in 1999, Bruce Bochy learned a valuable lesson about filling out his roster for the Midsummer Classic: "You can't beat yourself up."

Bochy admitted he did just that in 1999, thinking too much and worrying about his selections. Like every All-Star skipper, Bochy didn't want to leave any deserving candidates off his final roster. Unfortunately, he realized, there is no escaping the fact that there will be snubs, and the manager is most likely going to get the brunt of the blowback.

"Take it serious, but don't take it overly serious. You realize that you're going to leave guys off. You may make a mistake," Bochy said. "There may be a few people who disagree, but if so, I'm fine. I think we've got a great team. I'm happy with the guys we have selected, and for those who didn't make it, believe me, I feel for them.

"It doesn't all fall on the manager now, but it goes with the territory. You understand," he added. "It's not quite that painful. It's an honor. I'd love to do it a few more times, believe me."


Sitting in the Giants dugout before Monday's game against the Padres, Bochy discussed this year's National League roster, how the selection has changed over the past few years and many other aspects of the All-Star managerial process. But, of course, much of the conversation focused on the players who won't be in Phoenix on July 12.

"The next day, the talk is more about the snubs than the players who make it. On 90 percent of the teams, you can find somebody who is deserving to make the All-Star team," said Bochy, who worked with San Francisco's public relations department, baseball operations office and the rest of his staff to finalize his selections. "We've had it here the last two, three years. Of course they're the ones making noise because they want their guys on it. I understand that."

Bochy specifically pointed to Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen as a deserving candidate, though he ended up choosing Carlos Beltran of the Mets over McCutchen. He also mentioned San Diego setup man Mike Adams and third baseman Chase Headley, Braves pitchers Tommy Hanson and Craig Kimbrel, Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann and Pirates righty Kevin Correia, among others.

Despite the media and public outcry over the snubs, Bochy said he hadn't heard directly from any managers, nor did he get any calls from them before the rosters were announced Sunday -- though Bochy did call several skippers when he needed help.

Along those same lines, Bochy said none of his players were lobbying for an All-Star nod. Several Giants did go out of their way, however, to argue for right-hander Ryan Vogelsong's inclusion.

He also picked right-handers Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, putting three-fifths of his starting rotation on the NL roster to go along with closer Brian Wilson, chosen on the players' ballot. Bochy said Lincecum, who is coming off a rough stretch in June, deserved the spot for his performance this year and his status as one of baseball's most exciting pitchers.

"I think Timmy has thrown some unbelievable games this year, some very impressive games," Bochy said. "He's a guy that's good for baseball. He's got a lot of fans out there. And that plays a little part in it. I still believe you take the guys that are deserving."

Cain, meanwhile, is slated to start Sunday and therefore won't be eligible to pitch in the All-Star Game. Bochy said the replacements for Cain and Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels will be chosen by whoever was next in line in the players' vote, meaning Correia should be in Arizona after all.

And don't be surprised if Wilson is on the mound in the ninth if the game is tight enough. The bearded closer said he liked his chances of getting a save should the opportunity arise, and Bochy echoed that idea Monday, saying there was "a good chance of it."

There is another reason Bochy will have to manage this year's contest differently than he did in 1999: its impact on the postseason, with the winning league getting home-field advantage in the World Series. The priority has always been winning the game, he said, but that used to be very narrowly ahead of making sure every player got on the field.

"There is more meaning to the game," said Bochy, who was also on the NL staff in 1997, 2001, 2007 and 2010. "We saw first-hand how important it can be."

Adam Berry is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.