Kevin Cash considers it an honor to be mentioned in the same sentence alongside Bobby Cox.
“That’s wrong, it shouldn’t be,” he said. “But it makes me incredibly proud. When you think of the best drivers in the sport, Bobby Cox has to be there.”
Cash shares an achievement with Cox as of Tuesday. He became the second driver in history to win the General Manager award in consecutive seasons.
The Tampa Bay Rays manager won the award in the MLS. Gabe Kapler received the award at the National.
Cash led the Rays, a humble payroll team, to their second straight title win in the East. Tampa Bay (100-62) finished with the best record on the youth circuit but fell to Boston in the first round of the playoff series.
“We had the youth, the athleticism, and the talent to perform really well at the end,” Cash said.
Cox was the only one to win this trophy in two consecutive seasons. He did so in the National League, with the Atlanta Braves, in 2004 and 2005.
The Rays reached the World Championships in 2020, but Cash was criticized for retiring Blake Snell, who had been doing a great job in the last game. As in pilot proof, the strategy of pulling pitchers at the slightest provocation was very common in the post-season.
This is perhaps another example of Cash and Tampa Bay leading the way in the way they understand baseball.
Scott Servier of Seattle placed second, behind Cash, in a vote by the members of the North American Baseball Writers Association (BBWAA). Third place went to Dusty Baker of Houston.
Charlie Montoyo of Puerto Rican from Toronto came fourth, followed by compatriot Alex Cora of Boston. Next came Tony La Russa of the White Sox and AJ Hinch of Detroit.
Cash received 19 out of 30 votes for first place.
Kapler was honored in the NL after leading the San Francisco Giants to 107 wins, the most in franchise history, just in his second season with the team.
The Giants manager defeated Craig Counsell of Milwaukee Brewers and Mike Shildt of St. Louis Cardinals in the BBWAA vote.
After leading Philadelphia for two seasons, Kapler was fired. The Giants signed him after Bruce Bushey retired.
Thus, Kapler faced a major challenge. Bochy won three championships with San Francisco.
“I still think it’s impossible to fill Bruce Bush’s shoes,” he said.
But the giants haven’t looked so good in recent years. They finished the 2020 campaign, cut short by the pandemic, with a record 29-31. Thus, they spun their fourth season with a deficit record.
In Kapler’s second season and in a year when the star-studded Dodgers and Padres looked like favorites to win the NL West title, San Francisco had the best record in the league. Big tournaments.
“I think I’m really starting to respect, understand and appreciate the feedback the players give me regularly,” Capper said. “I really trust our players.”
The Giants outplayed the Dodgers in one game to claim the title. However, Los Angeles eliminated them in a tight series of a playoff role.
Counsell finished second in the vote, having led the Brewers to the title in the Central Division. Scheldt was third, a month after he was fired by the Cardinals. St. Louis President Joe Mozlyak attributed the shooting to “philosophical differences.”
Atlanta’s Brian Sneeker and Dodgers’ Dave Roberts were the other two managers who received the votes.
Kapler received 28 out of 30 votes in first place. Counsell and Shildt each received one.