Red Sox

MLB Notebook: Bruce Bochy knows the Red Sox’ pain, pending free agents

(Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

It's a good bet that no one can relate more to the 2019 Red Sox season than outgoing San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy.

Bochy won his 2,000th career game Wednesday night at Fenway and won three World Series while managing the Giants -- 2010, 2012, and 2014.

It was a staggering achievement, winning three titles in the span of five seasons. But in each of the years following a championship, Bochy's Giants -- like this year's Red Sox -- failed to get back to the postseason.

Each time the Giants slid backward, there were obvious contributing factors. In 2011, they lost Buster Posey for the season following a horrific collision at the plate in the second month of the schedule. Another time, Tim Lincecum, who had won two Cy Young awards, began his precipitous decline, posting a 5.18 ERA in 2013, nearly twice what it was a season earlier.

It was if, in retrospect, the Giants needed a year to recover from the toll winning the World Series had placed on them. And that's not far from the truth.

Nor does it make them unique in modern history. Now that the Sox won't be taking part in the 2019 postseason, six of the last nine World Series champs failed to even make the playoff the following years: the 2010 Giants, the 2012 Giants, the 2013 Red Sox, the 2014 Giants, the 2015 Kansas City Royals and the 2018 Red Sox.

While all the talk has centered around the difficulty of repeating as champions -- something that hasn't been done since the Yankees won three straight from 1998-2000 -- perhaps the focus should shift just qualifying for the tournament the year after.

That's hard enough, apparently, and you don't have to remind Bochy.