Cash wins second straight Manager of Year

by Gary Shelton on November 17, 2021

in general

Kevin Cash won another award./TIM WIRT

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

The first year he won a Stanley Cup, Jon Cooper didn't win the coach of the year award. He didn't win it the next year, when his Lightning repeated, either.

Say what you want about John Gruden, but in 2002 he did a fine job as he inherited someone else's team and got them over the hump to win the Super Bowl. He didn't win Coach of the Year that year, either.

So with all due respect to Kevin Cash, who won his second Manager of the Year Award Tuesday, there is this: It could have been a better day.

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We can presume that Cash feels the same. Individual awards are nice, and the plaque looks good on a wall, but it's a team game. The Rays ended the season in disappointment. This award won't erase that.

That said, bully for Cash. He took a stripped pitching staff and a wrecked bullpen and won the American League pennant. The big trade for Nelson Cruz didn't quite work out, and the big bat of Brandon Lowe disappeared in the post-season, and the big decision to let Charlie Morton walk was a disaster. You watch the Rays, and it is like watching a sprinter run uphill.

Yeah, it is nice to have some recognition of that. The Rays still pinch pennies, and the offense can make mediocre pitchers look incredible. So there is something to be said for winning despite it all.

Given the departure of Morton, the trade of Blake Snell and the injury to Tyler Glasnow, and you can make a strong argument that this was Cash's best season. True, the Rays won the AL Championship the year before, but they did it with a stronger pitching staff.

It's funny. In Tampa Bay, there is only one award anyone cares about -- a championship. Everything else is just stuff to put in the trophy case.

The Lightning have won three Stanley Cups. The Bucs have won two Super Bowls. The Rays have won two AL pennants (but lost in the World Series). Those are the trophies the world remembers.

Far behind that are the Hall of Famers. The Bucs have a solid share of the busts of Lee Roy Selmon, Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks and John Lynch. They have a good share of Tony Dungy's success. They have a piece of the history of others like Steve Young, Randall McDaniel and Anthony Munoz. The Lighting have sent Dave Andreychuk and Martin St Louis to the hall. The Rays shared in Wade Boggs' success.

But if you want to rank the hardware won by Tampa Bay performers, here's a list.

  1. Martin St. Louis, Lightning, Hart Award, 2004

2. Derrick Brooks, Bucs, NFL Defensive Playoer of the Year, 2002.

3. David Price, Rays, Cy Young, 2012.

4. Nikita Kucherov, Lightning, Hart Award, 2019.

5. Lee Roy Selmon, Bucs, NFL Defensive Player of the Year, 1979.

6. Blake Snell, Rays Cy Young Award, 2018:

7. Warren Sapp, Bucs, NFL Defensive Player of the Year, 1999.

8. Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning, Conn Smythe Award, 2021.

9. Tom Brady, Bucs, Super Bowl MVP, 2020.

10. Brad Richards, Lightning, Conn Smythe Award, 2004.

11. Victor Hedman, Lightning, Conn Smythe Award, 2020.

12. Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning,Vezina Trophy, 2019.

13. Steven Stamkos, Lightning, Richard Trophy, 2011-12

14. Dexter Jackson, Bucs, Super Bowl MVP, 2003.

15. Victor Hedman, Lightning, Norris Trophy, 2017-18.

16. Steven Stamkos, Lightning, Richard Trophy, 2009-10.

17. Randy Arozarena, Rays, ACLS MVP, 2019.

18. Nikita Kucherov, Ross Trophy, 2018-19.

19. Martin St. Louis, Lightning, Ross Trophy, 2003-04.

20. Martin St. Louis, Lightning, Ross Trophy, 2023-24.

21. Evan Longoria, Rays, Rookie of the Year, 2008.

22. Randy Arozarena, Rays, Rookie of the Year, 2021.

23. Warrick Dunn, Bucs, Rookie of the Year, 1997.

24. Jeremy Hellickson, Rays, Rookie of the Year, 2011.

25. Cadillac Williams, Bucs, Rookie of the Year, 2005.

26. Wil Myers, Rays, Rookie of the Year, 2013.

And the non-player awards:

  1. John Tortorella, Lightning, NHL Coach of the Year, 2003-04.

2. Kevin Cash, Rays, Al Manager of the Year, 2021.

3. Bruce Arians, Bucs, Maxwell NFL Coach of the Year, 2020.

4. Joe Maddon, Rays, AL Manager of the Year, 2008.

5. Kevin Cash, Rays, AL Manager of the Year, 2020.

6. Tony Dungy, Bucs, Maxwell Coach of the Year, 1997.

7. Joe Madden, Rays, AL Manager of the Year, 2011.

8. Andrew Friedman, Rays, AL Executive of the Year, 2008.

9. Erik Neander, Rays, AL Executive of the Year, 2019.

10. Steve Yzerman, Lightning, Executive of the Year, 2014-15.

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