The Tampa Bay Rays have named Kevin Cash their new manager. Cash succeeds Joe Maddon who abruptly resigned in October and subsequently was hired to manage the Chicago Cubs.
Cash beat out former Seattle Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu, who is presently on the AL champion Kansas City Royals’ coaching staff. The recently retired Raul Ibanez was also in the running, but withdrew yesterday to due family matters. Rays longtime bench coach Dave Martinez had been in the running, but he was considered too close to Maddon and was passed over. Not surprisingly, Martinez has now reunited with Maddon in Wrigley.
Cash, who turns 37 tomorrow, was a journeyman catcher who played eight seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays, the Devil Rays, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Houston Astros and returning Boston in 2010. He spent the 2011 season with the Rangers Triple AAA affiliate in Round Rock. He was a career .183 hitter, but was good behind the plate and earned two World Series rings with the Sox in 2007 and the Yankees in 2009. Like many poor hitting, back up catchers made a smooth transition into management when his playing career ended. In 2012, Cash served as an advance scout for the Blue Jays and for the past two seasons has served as Terry Francona’s bullpen coach with the Cleveland Indians.
Obviously, Cash is untested as a manager, but it could very well come naturally to him. But the jury will be out on him. As with all things pertaining to the Rays, I am curious as to Larry Thornberry’s take on the whole thing.
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