Especially since the controversial decision to take Blake Snell out of the 2020 World Series game after just 73 pitches when he was dominating, lots of people try to dismiss Cash’s accomplishments.
Taking out snell with only 73 pitches, Kevin Cash overrated, gg
— paul win (@pvulnguyen) October 28, 2020
Some people say he is overrated as a manager.
However, here are three reasons why he is definitely not.
3. He Is Consistently Competitive In MLB’s Toughest Division
Things should be looked at in perspective.
The Rays play in arguably the toughest division in Major League Baseball: the AL East.
Yes, they can punish the Baltimore Orioles, but they also have to deal with the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox, and the Toronto Blue Jays.
One of Cash’s traits is his ability to maximize the capabilities of a cost-conscious organization in a notoriously difficult division.
And that’s not easy to do.
Of course, he has a whole organization that pulls in the same direction, and lots of resources such as a strong farm system, but the manager has his merits.
Cash has been in his position since 2015, and has a 554-478 record with a .537 winning percentage.
That’s incredible considering the quality of the competition.
Voted for Kevin Cash as the winner. He was far and away the best. Dominated the toughest division in baseball with a depleted roster.
No. 2 was Servais. Nearly took the Mariners to the playoffs and got the most out of his players. No. 3 was TLR. Kind of a toss-up with Dusty. https://t.co/Cjkk6oNfhX
— Sam Blum (@SamBlum3) November 17, 2021
2. He Does Magic With Low Payrolls
One of the things that define Cash as a quality manager is his ability to get the best out of his limited resources.
Analyzing the situation, one realizes that it’s not that Tampa has limited resources per se, because they bring innovative, forward-thinking executives, they scout players extensively, they invest in player development staff and tools, and they have a manager that relies in analytics like Cash.
But they do consistently field some of the lowest payrolls in the league.
The Rays ranked 26th out of 30 MLB teams with a $70,836,327 payroll in 2021.
In 2020, they ranked 28th, and got to the World Series.
They were two wins away from winning the Fall Classic with the third-lowest payroll in MLB.
They had the lowest payroll in 2019, at $64,178,722, and got to the playoffs, losing in the Division Series.
Yes, it’s an organizational success, but dismissing the impact of the manager is foolish.
He got to the position for a reason, and has stayed there for six years and counting.
1. He Is The Face Of A New Way Of Seeing Baseball
Long gone are the days that pitchers covered the complete game, or even eight innings consistently.
Now, pitchers are taken out of the game before seeing the opposing lineup for a third time.
Analytics, advanced stats, infield shifts, four-man outfielders, lefty-righty platoons, deep bullpens, no bunting, and the fly ball revolution are all part of our game now, in large part because of Cash and the Rays.
Cash’s roster used 61 different players and 158 different batting orders.
However, he made it work with his calm presence and excellent communication skills.
Old schoolers hate Cash, because he represents change.
But this change is for the good: there are millions of dollars and the World Series trophy at stakes to not do things the right way and maximize odds and probabilities.
It’s not by chance that Cash has won the Manager of the Year award two times in a row, and it’s not a coincidence that the Rays are seen as the best team in the AL.