Rays manager Kevin Cash, and Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Erik Neander, were both honored with top awards from The Sporting News. Cash was voted best American League manager and Neander best American League executive for their work in 2019.
In their announcement about Cash’s award Sporting News writes:
Cash’s Rays won 96 games this season, earning the second AL wild card spot despite an unhealthy amount of injuries — only two players appeared in at least 140 games — and only one player with more than 21 homers or 72 RBIs (Austin Meadows had 33 and 89).
They also note the Rays low payroll and Cash’s ability to get the most from his players.
Neander, selected by a panel of MLB executives, was credited for the Rays recent winning seasons:
The Rays have improved significantly in the three years that Neander has steered the ship. Since Neander took on his current role in November 2016, the Rays have improved their record by an average of nine wins per season, culminating in a 96-win Wild Card campaign this year.
The Sporting News has been around since 1886, and functioned as the main source of national baseball news through a good part of the twentieth century. They began giving out baseball awards in 1936. These awards are distinct from the “official” MLB awards whose recipients are chosen by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America.