SAN FRANCISCO -- There are very few days when Bruce Bochy allows the attention to be turned on him after a game. He waits quietly at the end of the handshake line every night, offering congratulations and hugs to his players as they walk off the field, but a couple of weeks ago, the final out was all about Bochy.
The manager had won 2,000 games in the big leagues and Bochy's players turned the tables, lining up to congratulate him on a momentous achievement. At the end of the line stood Buster Posey, his longtime star, and the two embraced before walking off the field together.
Posey was the right man to walk off the field with Bochy that night. For 11 seasons and through every inning of three World Series runs, he has been Bochy's manager on the field. The two may one day be in Cooperstown together. For now, Posey is the final Giant in this five-part series -- here are Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford and Madison Bumgarner -- to sit down and discuss his time with Bochy:
NBC Sports Bay Area: Do you remember the first time you met Bochy and your first impression of him?
Buster Posey: "The first time I remember meeting him was 2009 in spring training. It was behind the cage on the field in BP. For whatever reason it just stands out to me that he was talking about how nice of a spot it was to play in Scottsdale. I didn't know any different, but now having had 11 spring trainings and bounced to different places, I know what he was talking about.
"Growing up in Georgia and him being on the West Coast, I didn't get a chance to watch him a ton. I knew he had been around for a long time already by the time I got there in 2009 and had a lot of success so I was excited to be able to learn under his guidance."
How has your relationship with Bochy evolved over the years?
"Naturally -- you hope anyway -- there is more comfortability as far as being upfront with one another. I'd say that's the biggest thing is just feeling like I can go to him really with anything and pick his brain on something. Hopefully he feels the same with me, too, if there's ever anything that we need to shoot straight about."
What has made him such a successful manager?
"I think he just has a -- whether it's a blessing or a curse, I'm not sure -- relentlessness to show up every day and win. It sounds cliché, I know. But he does, it doesn't matter. Right now we're grinding and stressing over trying to win these games here, these last few, knowing that we're not in a spot to go to the playoffs. But I think that's what I've appreciated. Of course it feels a little bit different when you're getting close to making the playoffs, but it's not like he sits back and goes, 'Oh, well we can coast these last 15.' I think his ability to push guys and himself is what's made him last as long and be as good as he has."
Do you have a favorite memory with Bochy?
"It wasn't even something I saw, but I've seen it on replay. When we won in 2010 and he threw his hands up in the air and it was like a sense of happiness and accomplishment, but you almost got that it was a sense of relief that it got done. Having gone through that a few times I can identify with that. There's so much that goes into it and the pressure you put on yourself wanting to succeed. When you get that final out, it's almost like there's a weight lifted."
Have there been times when you didn't see eye to eye?
"Of course. It doesn't matter who it is, there's going to be times that you don't see eye to eye. But I think something that's been nice about him is he's never been a guy that's going to publicly shame a player. I'm sure there have been plenty of times -- including this year -- where there's been a level of frustration, that he probably would like to lash out, but he's respectful enough to do it behind closed doors."
What's something fans don't know about him?
"The biggest thing that stands out to me is I notice there's such a difference in the times I've been around him during the offseason and in the season. You can tell there's a little more looseness about him. He's able to let go a little bit in the offseason, like we call can, but again I go back to where I'm not sure if it's a blessing or a curse, of how hard he's been on himself these last 25 years. That's part of what's made him good, I'm sure. That's part of what makes it challenging, I'm sure.
Do you think he will manage again?
"I don't. That's just my gut feeling. I just think that he's got a couple of grandkids and another one on the way. I think there are other things he wants to do. I could be wrong, though."