Saturday, December 6, 2014

Former Durham Bull to Manage the Tampa Bay Rays

Kevin Cash played for the Durham Bulls in 2005 and 2006 — seems like just yesterday. Now he’s going to be the youngest manager in major league baseball. Good for him!

You have to wonder just what those years might end up meaning now that he’s to be the boss down in St. Petersburg. The DBAP was relatively new. He was witness to a big managerial change when long-time, well-loved manager Bill Evers left and John Tamargo came in for a one-year stint. Neither year was very successful for the Bulls. Unusually, they did not finish in the running for the South Division and were well below .500 each year (65-79 and 64-78).  Some of his teammates were, if not favorites, certainly memorable Durham Bulls. They included Elijah Dukes, Joey Gathright, Joel Guzman, Darnell McDonald, B.J. Upton, Brooks Badeaux, and Jonny Gomes. The only current Ray that jumped out at me was Ben Zobrist, who played a couple of games in 2006.

He handled several top pitching prospects those years, notably James Shields, but others included Jason Hammel, J.P. Howell, and Edwin Jackson. Plus he took the mound for an inning in 2006, faced just three batters, and got a win.

Here’s the trivia question of the day. Is Kevin Cash the first former Durham Bull to manage in the major leagues? [Note: I don’t have the answer]

And, does anyone have any interesting memories of Cash’s time as a Bull?

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What could this mean for the Bulls?

First of all we have to point out that Neil Allen, long time pitching coach, is off to the major leagues, the Minnesota Twins. Congratulations Neil. My guess is that Allen was a much more important piece of the Rays system that most appreciated. His departure is obviously going to be a concern to Bulls fans. As will be the status of Charlie Montoyo. How is that going to play out? The Rays’ bench coach, Dave Martinez, left not too long after manager Joe Maddon. So Cash will need to put several pieces together over the next couple of months.

Guess we really aren’t going to know for a while.

Links on Cash:
Links on Allen:
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In 2005-2006 the Bulls broadcaster was Neil Solondz. Neil is now was the Rays and has written a very nice article on his memories of Cash as a Durham Bull. 


  1. Kevin Cash was always sort of the "other guy" catcher those years. In 2005, Pete Laforest was the main guy and in 2006 Shawn Riggans was the guy. Reading the articles it sounds like he was more valuable to the organization than fans realized at the time, but from a playing perspective, Cash wasn't hugely memorable, honestly.

  2. Agree. 2006 was my first year watching the Bulls closely (pre-blog) and the name rang a bell, but I didn't remember anything about him. Certainly has made a name for himself over the years though as a student of the game.