SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The San Francisco Giants, reeling from a second half collapse and a stunning Game 4 loss in the NL Division Series playoffs, announced Thursday first base coach Billy Hayes and third-base coach Roberto Kelly have been removed from the coaching staff.
The shakeup was likely just the first of several for the team including the future of several free agents and aging stars.
General Manager Bobby Evans said it wasn’t determined if either Kelly or Hayes would remain within the Giants organization.
Manager Bruce Bochy was asked about the ninth inning meltdown Tuesday night that saw the club’s much maligned bullpen surrender a 3-run lead to the Chicago Cubs, who scored four times to clinch the NLDS.
“You couldn’t be in a better situation than we were in (in the ninth),” he told reporters. “Looking back at that inning, we threw everything at them and that was the plan because of the work that (starter Matt) Moore gave us.”
“We had our best guys out there… It should make you appreciate what happened even more. How fast things can go and how hard it is to win the World Series. A ground ball goes through our shift. You get a walk, double and that’s how fast it happens…It’s a reminder of how difficult to do this is…Anything can happen and we don’t have any regrets with the guys we threw out there.”
“(Derek) Law, (Javier) Lopez, (Sergio) Romo… We just had a hard time getting that last out.”
While the team’s starting pitching is among the league’s best, the Giants bullpen was a major disappointment in the second half when the team stumbled badly.
Closer Santiago Casillas was among the league leaders in blown saves and by the last month of the season was not called on to close out games.
Evan said the bullpen issues will “be addressed in the offseason.” But he added there would not be a complete overhaul of the relief staff.
“I wouldn’t expect an overhaul,” Evans said. “I think we have a lot of talent there. I think it needs to be managed in a way that they begin to come into their own. Nobody does a better job than (pitching coach Dave Righetti) Rags and (bullpen coach Mark) Gardner…I think we have a good core there.”
With several lineup changes possibly in store for the team, Bochy said his post-game talk with the club was very tough.
“When I addressed the team after we lost, a very, very tough loss, I made it a point to thank all the free agents,” he said. “We don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s baseball, but what they have done for us and our success I couldn’t thank them enough.”
As for the fans, Giants Vice President Brian Sabean said the team would quickly rebuild because “we hate to lose.”
“This season was onto its own,” Sabean said. “We’ve all been in this game for a long time. It’s really a life lesson of what it is like to come through the other side. It’s really tough in sports to get to the playoffs, win a wildcard game, which isn’t easy to do in the fashion we did with New York. And go toe-to-to with a team that is supposed to win a World Series. There’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
“The underlying theme now that resonates with this organization is … This group, this organization…Still hates to lose.”