SAN DIEGO -- World Series runs in two of the last three seasons have shown the rest of baseball that Giants manager Bruce Bochy mixes and matches with the best of them. In theory, that should make the All-Star game the perfect playground for this year's National League manager.
Bochy is a proponent of finding the right matchups in his lineup, and Tuesday he'll have the likes of Buster Posey, Andrew McCutchen and Paul Goldschmidt available on his bench. Bochy also thrives on going batter-to-batter in the late innings, and it doesn't get much better than looking down at your bullpen and seeing Cliff Lee, Aroldis Chapman, Craig Kimbrel, among others, waiting for the call.
Bochy calls the experience of managing All-Stars a fun one and an honor, but he knows that it's not something that can be taken lightly.
"The priority is to win the game," Bochy said. "And that's where it's changed a little bit since this part of it became involved, as far as home-field advantage."
In 2003, the All-Stars began playing for home-field advantage in the World Series. Bochy knows how important that is, having twice in the last three years managed a team that started the World Series at home and shortly thereafter paraded a trophy down Market Street.
"We've been rewarded from the National League winning," he said. "We have two rings partly because of that. You play to win the game, which you always have. But it was probably more 50-50 (before) with trying to get all of the players in."
That theme is one that is at odds with winning the game. All All-Stars are not created equal, in part because every team must be represented. Bochy said he will speak with the National League squad when players and coaches first get together Monday in New York, telling the players that some of them will get limited time and others likely will not play at all.
Home-field advantage was added a year after the notorious 2002 game that ended in an 11-inning tie when both teams ran out of pitchers.
Because of that game, Bochy must map out a pitching plan for 16 innings and present it to MLB commissioner Bud Selig and executive vice president Joe Torre.
"You have to show them that you're covered," Bochy said.
Bochy will have his staff with him in New York, and bench coach Ron Wotus said they will try to get as many players involved as possible. In 2011, 21 position players and 10 pitchers got into a game the National League won 5-1.
The Giants finish the first half in San Diego on Sunday, so Bochy and his staff aren't expected to land in New York until early Monday morning. The game is being played at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets.
With so little time before the game and so many events lined up for players and coaches, Wotus said the pregame preparation is minimal. When it comes to signs, cutoff plays and all the other nuances of the game, the Giants coaches will stay out of the way.
"We'll keep it as simple as possible," Wotus said. "We go with the simplest play. There's not much that needs to be said. These guys are all so good that you just let them play."
The Giants are far back in the standings, but that hasn't cut into Bochy's enthusiasm heading into his second All-Star game in three seasons.
He has spent much of the last month on the phone with opposing managers, first to find out which players he should pick for the team and then to find out how many pitches he can expect to get out of each member of his staff.
Bochy called the selection process the difficult part. Now he gets to do what he does best, and he'll treat this game like any other.
"I'll feel a little pressure," Bochy said. "We'll do all we can to win."
Giants look to stay hot against Padres. PAGE 5