While the Rays may not have made it beyond the ALDS this year, there was a lot to be proud of for the little Tampa Bay team that could. 100 victories, the best record in the American League, triumph over their AL East challengers (at least in the regular season), and managing to do all of that with their ace, Tyler Glasnow, benched for most of the season.
It says a lot about a manager when they’re able to take consistent injuries to the team, a battery of rookies under the pressure of high expectation, not to mention having the “can he do it again?” question looming over him following his 2020 Manager of the Year win, and turn those lemons (and doubters) into lemonade.
Kevin Cash seems to thrive under pressure and to make the most out of lingering doubt. Cash took his team and got not one, but two Rookie of the Year contenders out of the mix (and a well-deserved winner in Randy Arozarena). For Cash, turning out a winning team just seems to come naturally, and apparently, the voters agreed.
While it seems in most years the managers who make their way to the World Series rack up the most votes, Dusty Baker did not get the nod, as Cash was far and away the favorite to take home his second AL Manager of the Year award, and become the first American League manager to win them back-to-back. The voting honestly wasn’t even close.
It speaks volumes of Cash, his leadership, and what he’s able to do with a team that is routinely underappreciated. While Cash has been a consistent skipper throughout his tenure with the Tampa Bay Rays, it’s nice to see him get well-deserved recognition for what he has been able to achieve with this team year after year.
Congrats to Kevin Cash.