Ask Gary: Assessing Cash after a Month

by Gary Shelton on May 9, 2015 · 1 comment

in Tampa Bay Bucs, Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Rays

Cash has had a tough time with challenges/ANDREW J. KRAMER

Cash has had a tough time with challenges/ANDREW J. KRAMER

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If you had to grade Kevin Cash after his first month as manager of the Rays, what grades would you give him for characteristics such as ingenuity, leadership, media relations and any others that you might want to address.

Rick Martin

I'd give him an A for applying gauze. The guy can't catch a break with he health of his team, can he?

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To be in second place  is pretty good considering that there have been nights when Cash isn't sure who is going to start in the next rotation for his club. That's fairly good ingenuity, although he doesn't toy with the lineup or with shifts as often as we've seen in the past.
As far as media relations, I think I feel like most of the guys who cover the Rays. Cash is a guy you like. He doesn't have Joe Maddon's gift for rhetoric, and he isn't as colorful in his quotes. But he's honest, and he's self-effacing. I'd give him a B there.
His best quality is his leadership. The guys genuinely seem to like playing for him. He is loyal beyond question to his dugout, and I think the players sense that. We haven't seen yet how he would handle, say, a  B.J. Upton (okay, Melvin) loafing incident. That will come.
One more thing: He could challenge better.
Assuming Brady cheated in just the one game - the AFC championship game - what should his punishment be? How many games do you believe he cheated in, and what should his punishment be? What if he has been cheating since the beginning of the 2007 season?  Then what should his punishment be?
Scott Myers
It would be a stretch to think this is the very first time that Brady did anything wrong and, darn the luck, got caught. I sped a lot of times before I got my first ticket, you know.
As for the number, we'd be guessing. Do balls naturally under-inflate on cold days. When the opponent is far inferior, do the Patriots even bother. But if I've got to guess, how about 57 times that he's cheated. Just a guess.
As for the punishment? I wouldn't go crazy. I have known a lot of baseball players who have scuffed balls. It's a Pine Tar incident if you want to know. An illegal drop in golf. I wouldn't go crazy with the punishment. Actually, I'm more bothered by the cover-up than anything.
And here's something else. Why aren't the balls monitored in the NFL? Why are they there for the equipment guys to play with?
I'm not apologizing for Brady. But he didn't exactly throw a game here. In the end, I'd give Tom Brady a two-game suspension and realize that it's not much of a punishment. Personally, I didn't think he committed that great a crime. As always, I could be wrong.

What do you feel the chances are, of the Lightning going all the way?

 Jim Willson
If you had asked me this two games ago, I would have been a lot more optimistic. Tyler Johnson was amazing, and Ben Bishop was solid.
I still think the Bolts beat Montreal. It's hard to imagine them losing four in a row. And I even think they would win the Eastern Conference Finals. Why not?
I do think the West is better this year, though. That's where I would make Tampa Bay a solid underdog.
Did the Bucs management actually pursue La'el Collins. Do you think that would have been a good signing for us?
Jim Willson
Talent-wise, there would have been no question. Collins is more highly rated than either of the Bucs' draft picks. It would have been good to have the winner of the Collins-Donovan Smith battle start and the other guy be the swing tackle.
A good signing? I'd have to know more about the facts before I made up my mind. This is murder we're talking about. I know the cops have gone out of their way to say Collins isn't a suspect, but on a team where the quarterback is facing his own controversy, a team has to be careful. You can't be known as a halfway house. And remember, the Bucs flirted with Greg Hardy, too.
I read where Les Miles vouched for Collins' character, and that does mean something. But at some point, character has to mean something, doesn't it?
Do you think, as I do, that Jameis Winston will quickly win the respect of his teammates and coaches and not only start the season as the starting QB but will be favored to beat the Titans in the Ray Jay?
 John Garvey

Yes, I do. Players care basically about one thing: Who can help them make money by winning games?

If Winston is the real deal, they will fall in love with his personalty and his leadership. It would take  a fresh allegation before any  doubts would start. No one will care what happened in college.

As far as the Titans, they were as bad as the Bucs this year. And now they go in with a quarterback who everyone says isn't as ready for the pro game as Winston, and the Bucs are at home. If you're going to be better, you have to win that one.

Regarding major league baseball's reviews of plays, it seems to me that last year the umpires in New York reviewed the plays and called them based on the videos. This year it seems they are simply looking for obvious mistakes - if it is close the call stands. Not sure which is better. This year's version seems faster anyway. Your thoughts?
Cecil DeBald
I'm all for speed like the rest of us. But as long as you're going to do this, why not get it right?
Replays won't be a big deal until the playoffs, of course. Not until a major market team gets jobbed in a big inning. But if the call is clearly wrong, reverse it. Otherwise, why are we playing?
The Cowboys won a little recruiting war for La'el Collins. Why didn't someone draft him in the 7th round if there were several teams recruiting him? Is it worse publicity to draft him than to recruit him after the draft?
Cecil DeBald
Unless the league had dictated that he wouldn't be drafted, it makes no sense. You're telling me that he had less talent than the big fullback drafted by the Bucs? Or most of the seventh round?
Remember when the Raiders took a chance and drafted Bo Jackson late? That paid off fairly well. I think this could have, too. But I think the teams were looking to the commissioner's office for guidance.
These days, that's a silly notion.
Assuming, and  I know, the Lightning advance in Lord Stanley's Cup tourney, which team would be better for us to face, the Rangers or the Capitals?
Cecil DeBald
I don't think either would be a walk in the park, to be honest, but I think the Rangers would be a better matchup for Tampa Bay. Not just because they were 3-0 against the Rangers and 1-2 against the Caps, either.
I think the Caps are more lethal as a team with Alex Ovechkin, whose 53 goals led the league. I know the old saying is that you can't spell collapse with C-A-P-S, but I'm not sure that's true anymore.
Obviously, we'd enjoy the matchups more with New York. Marty St. Louis would come back here, Ryan Callahan and Anton Stralman would go there.  Alas, I don't think it's going to happen. Which will leave us all to wonder: What, exactly, did Marty get for trading in his legacy?
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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Rick Martin May 9, 2015 at 5:43 pm

Can’t remember a team so snake-bitten with injuries to its pitching staff….. Drew Smyly is back on the DL. More First aid needed by Manager Cash….stat.


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