Several days ago, SF Chronicle sports writer Henry Schulman reported that San Francisco Giants Manager Bruce Bochy began Spring Training 2011 by talking with a large group of reporters assembled in his Scottsdale Stadium office. Bochy was discussing the upcoming season and his team’s chances of repeating as World Series Champions.
Bochy was asked about his pitching staff compared to the veteran stars in the Philadelphia Phillies' starting rotation, with so many years of success behind them. “Because of their track record,” Bochy said of the Phillies, “I think you would have to look at their staff as the best in baseball.”
The reporters in the room let out a collective gasp, then slowly turned to each other, smiled and nodded knowingly. Of course, this was just the crusty, grizzled veteran manager motivating his young starting staff, right? Very crafty of Bochy, throwing down a challenge to Mr. Lincecum, Mr. Cain, Mr. Sanchez, and Mr. Bumgarner-- the message being, don’t you young pups get too comfortable just because you won the 2010 World Series.
It was just like the old gravelly-throated, bear-like Bochy to find a way to get his troops all fired up for the 2011 season, right?
After a pause, Bochy continued. "Now that I think about it, those Philly hitters are probably the best in the history of the entire damn game…”. Bochy then took a deep breath and began to severely criticize the San Francisco restaurant scene. “I can go into any f--king deli in Cincinnati and get a better Reuben and slaw than I can in ‘Frisco, and I can stumble butt backwards into just about any restaurant in New York City and get a hell of a better meal. Now that's a big league town.”
Bochy snorted, raised his right arm in the air, and growled, “And every damn anybody who enjoys a recreational adult beverage knows Chicago has the best bars in the country. I mean real major league bars, not those frou-frou San Francisco chardonnay salons you read about in those magazines when you're waitin' for the dentist...”
Reporters covering his remarks started to shift back and forth uneasily, and began looking toward the door leading out of the clubhouse.
“And dammit, everyone knows the women in LA are the hottest little foxes on the planet. The women in San Francisco just aren’t in their league… I’m tellin’ you guys, I saw one tenderoni last year outside Dodger Stadium that made me want to… ”, a reporter nervously interrupted Bochy, who was now waving both arms, knocking over an oversized coffee mug with “World Series Champs” printed on it.
“Bruce, what about the Giants bullpen for the 2011 season, can they…”, the reporter hesitantly began, but Bochy quickly cut him off.
“And the mass transit system in this pissant town sucks green tomatoes, and I mean in the bad way. Look at that amazing trolley system they have in Atlanta. It's the best. Hell, the MUNI buses in San Fran are really just death traps….”.
By now a number of reporters had closed their notebooks and were quickly trying to get out of Bochy’s office. Several others turned and looked down, avoiding eye contact with the now unruly Giants Manager as they began to edge toward his office door.
“Hey, what the hell, where you guys goin’… I wanna tell you about the so-call sex shops in this second-rate, ass-out town. They don’t have half the stuff you need, and I’m not talkin’ about those wet wipes and such, I mean the real big hardware…”.
Bochy started following the reporters, who were now rushing out of his office. “Hey, guys… I’m not done… let me tell you what a bad baseball town San Francisco is compared to all the others... hey guys… wait…”.