LAS VEGAS - A few minutes into a luncheon Wednesday afternoon, an announcement went out for National League managers to gather in one corner of a conference room for their annual group photo. As Bruce Bochy stood up, he found himself walking behind Brewers manager Craig Counsell and Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, neither of whom is far removed from playing. A few feet away stood Dave Roberts, who played for Bochy and now competes against him in a long-running rivalry.
Managers are getting younger and younger, but Bochy, 63, remains eager to compete with the next generation. There's a question hanging over the Giants' season, though: How much longer will Bochy be in the big chair?
Bochy enters the new year with just one season remaining on his contract and the knowledge that almost every executive wants to eventually bring in his own manager. He gets along well with Farhan Zaidi, his new boss, but at this time next year, there's a very real possibility that Zaidi has already hand-picked the next manager of the Giants.
On Wednesday, Bochy said he's not concerned about the fact that his 13th season with the Giants could be his final one.
"I don't think about it, I don't," he told NBC Sports Bay Area. "Obviously I've got a year left and there have been changes and I'm going to get asked the question, and it's legit, but for me, I'm just focusing ahead and doing my thing. I've been blessed to have been doing this as long as I've been doing it.
"Trust me, sure, I've done some thinking earlier, but right now I'm just blocking it out and it's one step forward."
Those steps are a bit quicker these days. Bochy recently had hip surgery and said he feels great physically. He has spent much of the offseason with two young grandchildren, and his family continues to celebrate milestones.
When Bochy does return to the realities of life under contract, he finds himself with many others in the same boat. Brian Sabean, who has stayed on after the Zaidi hire, got an extension at the same time as Bochy and also is looking at the final year of his deal. Bobby Evans remains under contract through 2019, although he has been in Las Vegas this week searching for his next front office opportunity. Dozens of coaches and scouts throughout the organization were in limbo early in the offseason, but just about everybody was renewed through 2019.
Zaidi has made some additions, but there have been few departures. The new boss will have a year to evaluate every corner of the organization before making substantial changes. For now, Zaidi is focused on changing the roster, and as he approaches what could be his final year with the Giants, Bochy has found that to be energizing.
He still believes in this group. If 2019 is to be his final year as manager of the Giants, Bochy plans to do everything he can to compete for a playoff spot.
"It's been a rough two years, really two-and-a-half years, I'm not going to lie," he said. "The way we ended last year … we hung in there but to go (5-21 in September) was tough, I'm not going to lie. It beats you up.
"I'm determined to get this ship headed in the right direction and get back to playing winning baseball in San Francisco. We still have a really good core of players. We're not that old. We've just got to stay healthy, and I've said if we had just stayed healthy and guys had their normal years, I think we would have surprised some people."