Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez had nothing but great things to say about Bruce Bochy following his World Series victory this week … telling TMZ Sports there’s absolutely no doubt in his mind the Texas manager will be inducted in Cooperstown one day.
“Hall of Famer,” the former Rangers catcher said. “Hall of Famer, obviously.”
With a 5-0 win over the Diamondbacks on Wednesday, Bochy became just the sixth manager ever to earn four World Series championship rings. Unlike the other five, though, he’s not yet secured a place in baseball’s HOF.
Pudge, however, clearly thinks that will happen sooner than later … calling the 68-year-old one of the greatest big-game coaches of all time.
“When you start to play in the playoffs, it’s a different monster,” said Rodriguez, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017. “It’s always a different game. It’s a different ball game. And he’s the best doing that. He’s the best manager in that situation. And we all see it.”
Pudge — who’s been working as a special assistant to the general manager of the Rangers — said Bochy deserves a ton of credit for leading Texas to its first-ever title, adding that his calming presence made a huge difference in the dugout.
“As a player,” he said, “you feel comfortable that, ‘Hey, he’s going to put all the pieces together to bring this game back and win for us.'”
Pudge also had high praise for the Rangers’ World Series MVP, Corey Seager … calling him straight up “one of my favorite players.”
As for what Pudge will do now that baseball’s officially hit its offseason … he’ll be staying busy selling pizzas — telling us he’s got his hands full helping make good food at his Pudge’s Pizza restaurants.