Bruce Bochy hasn't done anything differently from the San Francisco Giants' fast start in April to the roller-coaster ride that got them spiraling downward in a seven-game losing streak.
Bochy didn't make Tim Lincecum, oddly, less dominating. The manager didn't have anything to do with Pablo Sandoval's struggle at the plate. The bullpen many like to insist he mismanages really just isn't very good.
There's no reason to fire Bochy, unless you believe in momentum and chemistry and "shaking things up in the clubhouse."
If you think momentum is further away than Sandoval's next 3-for-4 game, with a home run and five RBIs—you want Bochy gone.
If you don't realize that team chemistry goes from bad to fantastic when Lincecum, Barry Zito and Matt Cain each turn in consecutive outstanding starts, Bochy should pack his gear.
Should you be under the impression that guys like Guillermo Mota, Santiago Casillia, Andre Torres, Nate Schierholtz, and Aaron Rowand would be more consistenly good if the Giants hired a new manager, then you're ready to call for the hiring of...
Oh, yeah...if you think Bochy needs to be replaced, you surely have a series of possible candidates who'll come in and turn Jeremy Affeldt and Jonathan Sanchez into consistently dominating left-hand pitchers.
So, who ya' got?
Ron Wotus? Don't think the guy who has been standing behind and agreeing with Giants managers for so long is exactly going to be that spark plug fans think a new manager should become.
Steve Decker? Oh, c'mon! You read somewhere that he's one of the top minor league managing prospects and that he's doing a great job with Giants prospects at Fresno. But, his Triple-A Grizzlies require a completely different type of attention than does this particular veteran group of Giants. Decker might be the Giants manager of the future, but he hasn't done anything to show he can do more with Edgar Renteria than Bochy can.
Fredi Gonzalez? He was the NL Manager of the Year two years ago, then got fired by the Florida Marlins two weeks ago. (Tell you anything about how much we really understand about what a manager does?) Forget it. He'll take over the Atlanta Braves job when mentor Bobby Cox retires at the end of this year.
Bobby Valentine? Great personality. Probably great with certain types of players. Fans would love his enthusiastic, go-get-'em approach. He has managed the Texas Rangers and New York Mets for 15 seasons combined and has a .510 winning percentage. The fact that he went to manage in Japan and loved it would, at least, bode well for KNBR's pre-game manager's show. Bobby V would have stories to tell. (The "Bruce Bochy Show" isn't the current manager's strong suit, nor should it be.)
The Giants don't have a big league managerial candidate on the staff. Wotus? Why? After that? Third base coach Tim Flannery's only back in the big leagues because he and Bochy are close friends. If Bochy leaves, Flannery would follow.
See the problem?
Fans know what they think Bochy has done wrong, but there's no evidence that he's had anything to do with the things that have really put the Giants on the brink of falling out of the playoff race. The hitters aren't hitting. The pitchers aren't dominating.
We don't have any idea who would do a better job with this Giants team either. Decker? Maybe. Wotus? He's a coach. Gonzalez? His dream gig's coming. Valentine? His career win percentage is .510—hardly solid gold.
There are other candidates out there, but none could turn the Giants around until the Giants turn themselves around.
Ted Sillanpaa is a sports writer and Northern California columnist. Contact Ted at firstname.lastname@example.org