3 ways Bruce Bochy changed Rangers culture in honor of his 2,100th win

Chicago Cubs v Texas Rangers
Chicago Cubs v Texas Rangers / Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/GettyImages

Last Wednesday night, the Rangers notched a 6-2 victory over the Athletics in a fairly ordinary game. The win, though, was nothing short of ordinary for manager Bruce Bochy as he secured his 2,100th victory as an MLB manager.

Bochy is now only one of 10 managers in the history of the MLB to have at least 2,100 wins, and he currently has the 10th most wins of all time. He could move up to eighth on the list by the time this season is over as he could pass legendary Yankees manager Joe McCarthy, who finished his storied career with 2,125 wins, and Hall of Famer Bucky Harris, who finished his career with 2,158 wins.

Bochy securing his 2,100th win is just another reminder that the Rangers currently have a living legend at the helm and how fortunate the Rangers were to coax him out of semi-retirement. After taking a two-year hiatus from baseball, Bochy came to Arlington hoping to revive a franchise that had been dormant and out of contention for over half a decade.

The presence of Bochy was felt immediately, and he quickly began to change the culture of the team from one that was content with finishing last in the division and near the bottom of the AL to one that captured its first World Series in franchise history.

The turnaround Bochy was able to complete with the Rangers in less than a year is nothing short of amazing. Bochy has now taken two teams to the World Series the year after they finished with a losing record, with the previous being the 2014 Giants. How did he make it happen?

3 ways Bruce Bochy changed Rangers culture in honor of his 2,100th win

Trusting his starting pitchers

One of the most significant ways that Bochy quickly changed the culture of the Rangers was by trusting his starting pitching to go late into the game. These days, most managers are hesitant to let their starters remain in the game past the sixth inning, and it is now the conventional thought to turn the game over to the bullpen by the seventh inning at the latest. Bochy did not give into this new way of thinking and sent a message to his pitchers that he trusted them to get the job done.

One starter Bochy let run wild was Nathan Eovaldi, who pitched at least seven innings or more a third of his starts last season. That quickly paid off as Eovaldi finished the regular season with the second-lowest ERA of his career and was voted to the All-MLB Second Team for the first time in his career. 

Eovaldi was not the only pitcher impacted by Bochy's trust in the rotation as several other starters were also able to put up some of the best numbers of their careers. His approach gave pitchers more confidence on the mound as they knew they could make a mistake or two and not have to fear being taken out of the game. 

Fostering Resiliency

During Bochy's predecessor Chris Woodward's tenure with the Rangers, he frequently preached about the importance of being a resilient team and the importance of coming from behind. Unfortunately for Woodward, his words often fell on deaf ears, and the Rangers were never able to become as resilient as he would have wanted. Although the Rangers under Woodward showed signs it -- coming from behind to win 32 games in the 2022 season -- most of those comebacks came when the Rangers were already out of contention (or they were against opponents they shouldn't have been losing to in the first place).

Once Bochy came on the scene going into the 2023 season, the team started to understand better what it meant to be resilient and genuinely started to turn into a team that could come back and win a game under any circumstances. They were able to get 39 comeback wins in 2023, which is only seven more than they got in 2022, but you also must keep in mind that the Rangers were so dominant last season that they were not falling behind in too many of the games they played in.

The Rangers' new identity carried over into the playoffs and was a big factor why the team made it to the World Series and eventually won it. The Rangers erased deficits in two pivotal games during their postseason run, including Gamw 1 of the World Series and Game 6 of the ALCS. Overall, the grit that Bochy was able to instill in his team in his first year was instrumental in the Rangers' success throughout the season. 

Empowering players to be confident

In modern-day baseball, most managers make almost all decisions based on analytics or a front office script. Bochy was one of few managers in the league who made decisions based on his gut and what he had learned from years of experience managing major league clubs.

Fortunately for Bochy's players, their manager's choice to downplay the analytical side of baseball was often to their advantage. Similar to how Bochy gave a long leash to his starters and allowed them to go deep into games, he also gave a long leash to his position players, allowing them to work out their issues on the field and provide a chance to make adjustments without the fear of being benched for the foreseen future.

One example of this was last August when the Rangers were going through their worst stretch of the season, losing eight straight games. Several players were struggling, and fans were getting restless about Boachy adjusting the lineup and sending several players either to the bench or down to the minors. Bochy refused to make adjustments and the team was able to ride out their cold streak and become the hottest team in baseball by the time the postseason came around.

One wrong switch and this team misses the Wild Card berth and doesn't make an historic run. Not all old-school managers have stood the test of time, but Bochy has.