Giants extend Bochy, Sabean through '16
Manager, GM led franchise to two of past three World Series titles
SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants General Manager Brian Sabean sat at the podium in the bowels of AT&T Park on Thursday, a World Series ring sparkling on his right ring finger. To his right sat Giants manager Bruce Bochy, and they were there to announce their new three-year extensions through 2016, together with Giants President and CEO Larry Baer.
With two World Series rings in three seasons and expiring contracts heading into the 2013 season, the extensions for Bochy and Sabean were inevitable.
On Thursday, Sabean proudly displayed his hardware from the 2010 World Series triumph, the first in San Francisco's history of baseball.
"New ones haven't arrived yet," Baer said.
From the final out of the 2012 season, the new deals were a foregone conclusion. But after the deep postseason run slowly gave way to the crush of the baseball offseason and Winter Meetings, Baer and the Giants didn't have much time to work out the contract details until Spring Training.
Ten days before the Giants receive their 2012 hardware at AT&T Park, the Giants committed to two of the biggest reasons behind the organization's ascent to the top of the game.
"The glory days of the franchise are now," Baer said. "It's important to acknowledge that and pay tribute to the people who have done it from the general manager's office and the manager's office to get us to where we are now. It's hard to measure -- when you take the entire longevity of the franchise, 131 years -- you probably haven't had a better stretch, no matter how you want to measure it, the last three or four years."
The late, longtime great Giants scout Pat Dobson deserves credit for an assist. Just weeks before he passed away from Leukemia in 2006, Dobson played an instrumental role in recruiting Bochy from the Padres to be the Giants skipper.
To that point, Sabean and Bochy shared a cordial relationship, but it was Dobson, a mutual friend, who helped convince them that they shared common goals and would make a successful tandem. In fact, Dobson was on hand in San Francisco when the Giants flew Bochy up and made him the formal offer to take over as manager.
Once they were co-workers, it didn't take long for coach and general manager to jell. That's not to say they've altered their contrasting personalities.
While Sabean referred to the laid-back manager as a "tough SOB," Bochy used the words "fiery" and "emotional" to describe the longest-tenured general manager in baseball. For reference, Bochy specifically mentioned a pitcher's meeting in 2010, when a riled-up Sabean shared some choice words with the Giants pitching staff.
"We complement each other well," Bochy said. "Maybe at times I'm a calming influence to him. I think it's a special situation I'm in, the fact that his office is right by mine and I can say anything I want to him, voice my opinion. There's times we don't always agree, but the next day we're at the ballpark ready to go to work."
Sabean has held his position since the end of the 1996 season, feeling the highs and lows of the organization those 17-plus years. Above all, Sabean was grateful to Baer for keeping the gang together for at least four more years.
"A lot of continuity, I think that's what defines this organization," Sabean said, "Whether it's my relationship with Boch or in the front office or with ownership. It was a unique type of contract for both of us and I really appreciate the diligence, because they did some things that they didn't have to do."
When discussing their chemistry, Sabean also mentioned their proximity as neighbors across the street from the ballpark at China Basin. They've spent many long nights at the stadium after losses trying to figure out what went wrong, but now they can celebrate together, too.
In the current landscape of baseball, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more successful duo. Despite all of the team's recent success, Sabean insists the team is focused on winning the National League West before anything else.
"The days of being the big, bad Yankees with Joe Torre -- you can't walk around that tall anymore," Sabean said. "The game's too fallible; the game's changed so much as far as parity."
Bochy pointed to the promotion of Buster Posey and the acquisition of Pat Burrell in 2010 as turning points for the organization, giving Sabean credit for molding the first champions of the team's San Francisco era. Likewise, Sabean gave credit to Bochy for his ability to collaborate and connect with his coaching staff and players.
As happy as Bochy and Sabean were to ink their extensions, perhaps the most grateful man on the podium was Baer.
"The results obviously speak for themselves," Baer said. "To go through the accomplishments, they're well understood. I think what it is very meaningful to me and all of us is how they operate together."
Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.