SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Bochy men, Bruce and Brett, don't bother trying to foresee the complications of working together. They don't think like civilians. They chose a profession that punishes fretting like no other and smiles on compartmentalization.
"He's no longer my dad here ," Brett Bochy, a righthanded reliever, said at his locker stall in the Giants' spring-training clubhouse. "He's the manager. Once we get off the field, he goes back to being Dad. And then we can just go to dinner."
But Kim Bochy can imagine all the stress of a father managing his son in Major League Baseball. She won't let herself think out loud about that now. It's too soon. But if Brett, one of 30 non-roster players invited to the Giants' camp this spring, ever makes it to the majors, his mom expects to feel roughly the way she did every time she tried to watch him play college ball and then, once he came in to pitch, ending up hiding in a bathroom to escape the stress.
"Right now, it's just spring training, and that's a different ballgame," she said of watching her husband manage their younger son. "But if it's on a bigger stage, if it's on a daily basis ..." She stopped to take a breath and then said simply: "It's scary.''
The Bochys are hardly the first father and son to end up in a major league camp as manager and player. The Tigers drafted Jim Leyland's son, Patrick, in the eighth round in 2010, and invited him to spring training the last two years. Felipe and Moises Alou spent five seasons as boss and underling in Montreal, then were reunited in San Francisco in 2005 and 2006.
Lucie Alou, Felipe's wife and Moises' stepmother, has become friends with Kim Bochy. According to Kim, when the two spoke recently, Lucie said her husband could talk to Brett about the unusual circumstances their families have shared.
How does a father deliver the bad news that managers must regularly dispense to other people's sons? How does a family endure the elevated scrutiny bound to arise? The managerial job already brings routine savagery, from which Bochy may find immunity for a couple of months, thanks only to his second world championship in three years.
Kim Bochy sees all of this, but even as her maternal instincts dial up apprehension, she understands what balances all the risk. This is an extraordinary opportunity for a father who rarely got to see, much less coach, either of his two sons when they played Little League or high school ball.
She remembers Brett's high school graduation in San Diego and his dad's effort to get home from a road trip with the Padres.
"The logistics of it were impossible. He had a day game the next day in Houston, I think, and the flights weren't working out," Kim Bochy said. "And Brett said: 'Dad, it's OK. They just call my name, and it's over . It's not a big deal .'"
He felt amply compensated by taking road trips with his dad, starting when he was at least 8. He became a bat boy and a fixture in the Padres' clubhouse. He sat in the dugout during the 1998 World Series. As a teenager, he baby-sat for closer Trevor Hoffman's three boys. Every time his father coached or managed in an All-Star Game, he went along, shagging flies in the outfield during the Home Run Derby.
"I'd go out there with all the coaches' kids," he said, a mischievous grin resembling his father's starting to form. "We'd get a little too close to the warning track, and they'd tell us to back off. No trying to rob balls.''
The Giants took Brett, now 25, out of Kansas in the 20th round of the 2010 draft. His older brother, Greg, had been drafted in different years by the Padres and Rangers. He played in the Padres' minor leagues as a pitcher and infielder for three seasons, reaching A ball before he left the game.
At 33, Greg has become a paramedic and volunteer firefighter in San Diego. He will interview for a job with the Oakland Fire Department this week, his parents said.
"When you play minor league baseball, it kind of puts your career plans -- if you don't make this your life-long job -- it kind of puts them on hold,'' Kim Bochy said. "That's what happened with Greg. He's doing things much later than other people.''
As Brett prepared for college, his parents offered divergent advice. Bruce Bochy had attended a junior college, been drafted out of it, and met Kim there. All in all, it was a good deal. He also thought that playing time at Kansas would be rather spare for Brett during his freshman year. He graduated from high school at 5 feet, 11 inches and about 165 pounds, with a fastball that topped out at 87 m.p.h.
"I think it's better to be a big fish in a small pond," Bruce Bochy said.
But Brett preferred Kansas. He knew the coach, who had worked with Greg and had a son in Brett's traveling youth baseball group. Mom said: "Follow your heart." Brett also heard: "Enjoy the freshman experience on a college campus.'' He took her advice, offered gently, and took the big leap into Division I.
"It was tough,'' he said. "I wasn't that mature and I wasn't that big at that point. But I knew that I would grow. My brother and my dad are big; they were late bloomers. And I knew I was going to grow into my body."
By sophomore year in college, he had grown to 6-3. He is now 6-4, 205 pounds, he said, with a fastball that ranges upward to 94 m.p.h.
"He said 'I'll figure it out,' and he did,'' his father said with a hint of justifiable pride. "He became their closer."
The two of them say they did not have to figure out anything about their professional co-existence. No talks. No ground rules. Brett saw how major leaguers behave before he reached fifth grade.
"He knows the protocol of how baseball works,'' Bruce Bochy said. "There were some times when I think he'd have liked to get some information about whether he was coming to major league camp. But [head of baseball operations] Bobby Evans calls these guys, and I wanted [Brett] to hear from him.
"But, in that situation you really want to know," Bruce said with a growing smile, "and he was asking, 'Have you heard anything?' And I said: 'You're crossing the line, now.'"
The manager won't pretend that seeing another Giants uniform, No. 76 , with the Bochy name over it has no effect. "It's been special, to be honest.
"I know how hard he's had to work to come back from Tommy John surgery, and he's really earned this.''
A strong season in Double-A Richmond (7-3, 2,53 ERA, 14 saves in 41 appearances) all but clinched the invitation. His roommate, Mike Kickham, came too, and the pair stay at the team hotel together. Brett visits his parents' rental house for dinner every now and then. Sometimes, in fine twenty-something form, "he brings laundry over with him," his mother said, laughing.
When asked whether he might over-correct for the appearance of favoritism and be harder on Brett than other young players, Bochy said: "He doesn't need any added pressure."
And then he remembered his son's first appearance in a game. A week ago, Brett came in with the bases loaded and one out.
"I felt horrible about it. But I was in a box, [Fabio] Castillo was struggling out there, and I had to get him, and [Brett] was the next guy to come in ," the manager said, sounding as paternal as he might have after subjecting any rookie to such a debut. "And I knew coming in for his first time in a game, he's going to be really nervous. And he had to face two big left -handed hitters, and between the two of them they probably weigh 500 pounds."
He referred to White Sox prospects Jared Mitchell and Seth Loman, who weigh a combined 450, and who hit a two-run double followed by a long three-run homer.
"He knows I don't have a problem with that ," Brett said. "He knew I had the mentality that I could handle something like that ."
Perhaps the real test occurred upstairs, where his mother is supposed to sit. She has spent a lot of time in hiding during baseball games, pacing hallways or rest rooms, during Bruce, Greg and Brett's careers.
"But it's always worse when it's your kids. Regardless of what they're doing, you never want to see them struggle or fail," Kim Bochy said . "Your heart just aches for when things don't go as they should."
But what happened last Monday?
"I did watch. I didn't go to the bathroom ," she said, laughing and sounding a bit like her imperturbable husband. "I watched the carnage."