LOS ANGELES -- Bruce Bochy announced during the spring of 2019 that the season would be his last with the Giants, but when the next spring rolled around, Bochy was right back in a dugout. Before the pandemic shut down the sports world, Bochy was in Tucson, Ariz., helping Team France get ready for a World Baseball Classic qualifier.
Two years later, he'll take another crack at that role.
Bochy will manage France in this fall's qualifier, the WBC announced earlier this week. The longtime Giants manager and future Hall of Famer is the first confirmed manager for the tournament, which will return next year after the pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2021 WBC.
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Bochy, who was born in France, was excited for the opportunity in 2020 and had planned to once again manage his son, Brett, a former Giants pitcher who was going to be on staff for Team France. His players had to scramble to get back to their homes, including some overseas, when COVID-19 shut down the qualifier that March, but the tournament is expected to go on as normal next year.
The French team will compete in a qualifier in Regensburg, Germany in mid-September. The qualifier will include Germany, Spain, the Czech Republic, Great Britain and South Africa, with the top two advancing to the WBC.
San Francisco Giants
The main tournament will begin March 8, with the championship game being held March 21 in Miami. Joc Pederson reportedly is the first Giant who has committed to playing and will suit up for Team Israel.