Those were the marching orders U.S. Army Sgt. Major Gus Bochy gave his four children, and decades later the Philadelphia Phillies wish Gus had kept his mouth shut.
Slow-talking, quick-thinking Bruce Bochy, the third of Rose and Gus Bochy's children, directed the National League Championship Series like he knew what would happen next. Decades of sponging up baseball wisdom were as obvious as the orange SF insignia on Bochy's extra large ballcap.
"He hasn't done anything wrong as of yet, the son of a bitch," cracked Davey Lopes, the Phillies' first-base coach. "Everything he's done has been perfecto. There's a lot of knowledge in that head. It's scary."
One more Giants victory was needed to bring the World Series to San Francisco when Lopes spoke to West Coast Bias last week. I wondered if the tactical hot streak could continue, but with Bochy's managerial moves coming up roses again, the Giants won on the Evil Coast.
The guy who hired Bochy four years ago was feeling extra smart late Saturday, as several mediocre Giants hitters yukked it up in Philly's ballpark.
"He's the most understated, underrated manager in baseball," said Giants general manager Brian Sabean. "This guy is aces."
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"My whole family, we were raised that way," said Joe Bochy, the oldest of the four children and nearly four years older than brother Bruce, 55. "My mother and father, they were pretty strong people. They didn't fear anybody. We were all raised the same way, to be independent and strong, and to be leaders."
Joe is a San Diego Padres scout with a bold streak who three years ago signed a hotheaded pitcher, Mat Latos, who'd scared away clubs such as the Boston Red Sox. Latos blossomed into San Diego's ace this year and nearly led the Padres past Bruce's Giants.
The second child and only girl, Terry Bochy is the toughest of the four siblings. She risked her life for many years as a federal agent. When Rose Bochy developed Alzheimer's, Terry looked after her mom for the final 10-plus years of her life. "She's a saint," Bruce said.
Another achiever, youngest sibling Mark is a chemical engineer in Alabama.
Despite hanging around smart people, Bruce decided to become a catcher and has the arthritic hips, battered knees and crooked fingers to prove it. "I'd do it again," said Bochy, who in 1975 was drafted by the Houston Astros out of Florida State and would play for them, the New York Mets and the San Diego Padres.
Whether Bruce took too many foul tips to the facemask is a matter of question, and not only because he wrote Mike Fontenot and Aaron Rowand into his NLCS starting lineup a time or two.
Several years ago after a ballgame, when Bochy was manager of the Padres and walked San Francisco's streets alongside boss and friend Kevin Towers, he pointed to the Golden Gate Bridge and insisted that he could survive a plunge to the water below. "You're nuts, 'Boo,' " Towers said, using his favorite nickname. Bochy replied, "I'll hit that bull's eye straight, feet first. I grew up in Florida and jumped off bridges similar to this." The debate was revisited many times. Joe heard the same nonsense from Bruce. And wasn't surprised.
"Bruce is fearless," Joe said.
Bochy's Giants have enough pitching to throw a wet blanket over most teams, but the team is largely a bunch of spare parts. Bochy had several junkyard teams with the Padres. He's practiced at mixing and matching. For all the fiddling Bochy did from 1999-2003, he still endured five consecutive losing seasons. Four of his other seven Padres teams reached the playoffs.
Bochy likens these Giants to the misfits in "The Dirty Dozen," a World War II movie. Which would make him Lee Marvin's character -- the U.S. Army major assigned 12 American criminals convicted of capital offenses and charged with whipping them into shape for an invasion.
It's a cute analogy.
"To manage a team like this," said Giants bench coach Ron Wotus, a smart guy that Bochy inherited and retained, "you really open yourself up to a lot of second guessing because there are so many moves that have to be made. It's much easier to have five All-Stars on the team when you put the lineups out there and you let them go play. Seeing this club and where it's at, (Bochy) deserves a lot of credit."
Long ago, Joe stopped being surprised by anything Bruce does, especially in baseball.
"As a boy he used to tag along with me and basically started playing sandlot ball with players older than him by three, four years," Joe said. "He always held his own. He was fearless and not shy."
When Gus was stationed in Panama, Bruce tried out for a Little League team and soon became the third baseman. Joe was among several teammates who were at least three years older than his strong-armed kid brother.
"He was starting as a six-year-old, with 12-year-olds on the same team," Joe said.
World War II and the Army had denied Gus his major league dream. A switch-hitting shortstop, Gus had good foot-speed and sharp hand-eye coordination. His children weren't fleet of foot, which Gus jokingly attributed to their mother. Rose had grown up on a farm in North Carolina and, while working at Fort Bragg, met Gus there when he began his Army training.
Gus had grown up poor in West Virginia. He'd seen family members who worked in the coal mines. He wanted his boys to become baseball players.
"He never allowed us to ever be satisfied with the game we had," Joe said. "If we went 3-for-3, it wasn't a good game if two of the balls were softly hit. He wanted us to excel in every at-bat and not to waste any opportunity. He strived for perfection as hard as he could in us. He wanted to make sure that we saw it could have been a better game if we had a little better concentration level."
With Gus away on Army duty up to 13 months at a time, Rose managed the children. The Army sent the family to places as varied as France, where Bruce was born, Washington D.C., Panama, South Carolina and Florida. "My mother was a strong Christian woman," Joe said. "We were raised in church to respect each other and to know the difference between right and wrong."
Bochy grew into a bear of a man -- nearly 6-foot-4 and around 250 pounds. Fortunately for the ballplayers who play for him, he's slow to anger.
On TV he usually comes off as placid and even sluggish. "People who only know him by what they see on TV think he's a big stuffed bear," said Tim Flannery, who is Bochy's longtime third-base coach.
But baseball men such as former Braves manager Bobby Cox, whose career ended this month with a loss to Bochy's club, say Bochy thinks baseball fast. Invoking John Wayne and Paul Bunyan, Lopes describes him as a quiet leader.
"He's as good as they come. I know. I've been around the man. I know how he thinks," said Lopes, who was Bochy's first-base coach with the Padres and is a former manager of the Milwaukee Brewers. "He may do things a little differently from that New School that came in. But, it doesn't mean he doesn't incorporate both sides of it.
"I think this is good for him, because now he's getting some national exposure."
If the NLCS was a preview, Bochy will move Giants players all over the chessboard against the Texas Rangers.
Giants pitchers are so good, Bochy usually can sleep through the early innings, but when starter Jonathan Sanchez stalled in Game 6 Saturday, Bochy took prompt action. He yanked Sanchez in the third and cobbled together seven scoreless innings from a quintet of relievers that included ace Tim Lincecum, his starter in Games 1 and 5.
Nor is Bochy content to use his closer only when the ninth inning arrives, as he did when calling upon Padres close Trevor Hoffman, who would become the all-time save leader yet almost never pitched before the ninth. Giants closer Brian Wilson is more resilient, and Bochy will ask him to get as many as six outs. Wilson wasn't able to fill that order in Game 2 of the Division Series against the Atlanta Braves, but in Game 6 against the Phils, Wilson relieved a wobbly Lincecum with one out in the eighth, stranded two runners and then secured the 3-2 victory.
Another of Bochy's favorite chess pieces is reliever Javier Lopez. A sidearming lefty, Lopez shackled Phillies sluggers Ryan Howard and Chase Utley in the NLCS.
Veteran infielder Juan Uribe is Bochy's most versatile position player. He started at third base and shortstop in the NLCS and came through with three RBI that stood as winners.
While the NLCS brought more attention to Bochy's flexible ways, the Giants wondered what all the fuss was.
"We've been playing like this all year long," Wotus said. "People are making a big deal of the three double-switches (in San Francisco's victory in Game 4) and all of the moves, but that's kind of who we've been. He knows the team and the personnel, and that's kind of the way he's managed all year to get the best out of all the guys."
While Bochy's consistency draws praise from players, who generally prefer a manager who is stable and predictable, it's not the foolish consistency of a small mind.
Bochy will ponder change-of-pace moves for months down the road, whether for a playoff race or the postseason.
Hoffman often praised Bochy for "not being greedy" with his best pitchers early in the season. He said Bochy "managed for the long season" in terms of pitcher health.
Chris Young, another of Bochy's pitchers with the Padres, said a rare pep talk from Bochy was critical to Young's victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2006 Division Series. Bochy hadn't gone to the mound to talk to Young all year, a job that he left to pitching coach Darren Balsley. Nearly out of gas against the Cardinals, Young needed a boost. Because Bochy surprised him, the encouraging words packed more power. Young would end up with 6 2/3 scoreless innings and a victory that still stands as the Padres' only postseason triumph since 1998.
During Game 3 against the Phillies last week, when he chatted up starter Matt Cain on the mound, Bochy may have reprised the confidence-driven visit to Young. Pitching coach Dave Righetti usually visits Cain and all other Giants pitchers, but Bochy visited a Giants pitcher for the second time in the NLCS.
"(Bochy) was just kind of instilling that he had confidence in me," Cain said. "It didn't sound like he wanted to take me out of the game."
Cain said Bochy told him: 'We've got confidence in you, make your pitches and we can get this guy out.'" Cain and the Giants went on to win 3-0.
The Giants are listed as underdogs by many sports books. As Bochy well knows, as thrilling as these pixie-dust runs may be, it's goes down like vinegar to get this far and lose. In the 1984 World Series, the Padres for whom he played were beaten in five games by the favored Detroit Tigers, a powerhouse that had started out 35-5 that season. Bochy's first World Series trip as a manager, with the Padres in 1998, ended with broom burns, courtesy of a Yankees team that had gone 114-58 in the regular season.
"It'll be a tough road," Joe said, acknowledging ace Cliff Lee and the Rangers.
If Bochy and the Giants go down, they'll go down swinging.
"I don't think Bruce has any concerns about being second-guessed," Joe said. "I think he uses logic. He might not bunt because he doesn't think the next guys are going to get a hit. I think he uses reason, and I think he uses hunches too. He doesn't always do everything by the book, but there's a reason why he doesn't do it by the book. I don't think it's because he's trying to be different. It's because he knows his club."
FanHouse's Jeff Fletcher contributed to this story.