Rays’ Kevin Cash must win AL Manager of the Year Award

Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash was announced as a finalist for the AL Manager of the Year award and it should be a foregone conclusion that he wins it.

Cash took the Rays to within two games of winning the World Series with the third smallest payroll ($28.3m) in major league baseball. It is a phenomenal achievement when you consider that the Los Angeles Dodgers, 4-2 victors over the Rays in the World Series, had a payroll of $108.4m in 2020.

Let’s take a look at some facts, for Cash’s suitability to win, compared to award rivals Charlie Montoyo (Toronto Blue Jays) and Rick Renteria (Chicago White Sox):

  • American League champions
  • Best Regular Season record in AL (.667)
  • Record against teams with >.500 record = 21-9

Both the Blue Jays and the White Sox lost in the AL Wild Card series with the Rays accounting for the Blue Jays 2-0. Toronto finished third in AL East with a .533 record. The White Sox fared better in AL Central finishing one game behind the winners, Minnesota Twins, with .583.

Both Montoyo and Renteria are deserving of their nominations but they are nowhere near Cash in 2020. Even though Renteria has been recognised, the White Sox have already despensed with his services and replaced him with 76-year-old Hall of Famer, Tony La Russa. The decision is completely at odds with the recognition; that’s one for the White Sox to worry about.

Despite the shenanigans of game 6, Kevin Cash has been very successful during his tenure as manager. Being named a finalist for a third successive year speaks volumes in itself but surely he will not be denied this time after two third-place finishes.

If Cash were to win this year, he would join Joe Maddon as the second Rays manager to win the accolade. Maddon won twice: 2008 and 2011. Surely, the Rays’ previous World Series in 2008 is a positive for Cash’s chances of winning.