clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Rays cash in with some hometown pride

The Rays are buying local. The locals are making puns.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

I like rooting for local sports teams. I like listening to local music. I like supporting locally owned businesses.

I spend hours on Twitter and in comments sections defending this area, the legitimacy of our sports fans, and the emptiness of our ballpark. I’m not often seen without a Rays cap on my head. One could say I like to "rep where I’m from."

Clearly, the news that Kevin Cash would be the next manager of the Rays resonated with me. See, Kevin Cash is from where I'm from. He's a Tampa native. He represented the state of Florida in the 1989 Little League World Series. He represented Florida State University in the 1999 College World Series. The drive to his local alma mater, Gaither High School, is shorter than a Michael Kohn Rays career highlights video.

Kevin Cash reps where he's from... and he's coming home.

As Rays fans, it's always been us against the world. We're not good enough, we can't spend enough, the fans don't care enough. Good. I like having a higher perceived mountain to climb. It makes the hike more fun. Kevin Cash is now a part of "us," and, in a way, you could say he always has been.

He fought into the Cape Cod league after he wasn't drafted. He fought to learn a new position by picking up catcher in order to find a big league job. He fought to hone his defensive skills until a big league team signed him, even to the point of forcing other prospects like Jayson Werth to find other positions on the field.

When his bat didn't develop, Cash fought to find his place as a perennial backup on the bus from Triple-A -- the first man called upon as the third catcher. He used every opportunity baseball has given him to learn what he can, and now a day before his 37th birthday, he's been named the youngest manager in all of baseball. He's an advanced mind and among the youngest in the room. He's an underdog story just like the Rays.

If that doesn't fit the blueprint of this team, what could?

More to come, but we're pretty excited.