Kim Klement/USA Today Sports

Kevin Cash on Alex Cora: 'I learned a ton from him'

Rob Bradford
December 11, 2017 - 11:24 am

BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- There are a few similarities when it comes to Kevin Cash and Alex Cora. Not only were they teammates on the 2008 Red Sox (both serving in backup roles), but the pair also found themselves as first-year major league managers despite very little coaching experience.

Cash, who is headed into his fourth season as manager of the Rays, spent one season as bullpen coach for Terry Francona's Indians before being named the head guy in Tampa Bay. Before that he was an advance scout for the Toronto Blue Jays. (For what it's worth, John Farrell was going to name Cash his bench coach in 2014 if Torey Lovullo left after the 2013 season.)

Cora, of course, only spent one season in a big league dugout, helping the Astros win the 2017 World Series as their bench coach.

"Both [Cora] and I were bench players and my little experience with him that one year, I learned a ton from him," Cash said from the MLB winter meetings. "And then his experience this past year with the bench coach role, he's going to be just fine."

Cash can appreciate what it's like for Cora, having to navigate his way through that first offseason as a manager.

"What I can appreciate is how there's a lot of information probably being thrown at them right now," the Rays skipper said. "At times it's overwhelming, but knowing both those guys, they're going to handle it and be very, very successful."

Of course, another bond the two managers share is the opportunity to have played for Terry Francona, who Cash explained left an important impression on him as to how to execute the job.

"It really goes back to it Terry Francona, how he was as a manager, watching him with the Red Sox teams that he managed," Cash said. "A lot of superstars, how he was able to build relationships with all of them, individual relationships, the team relationship, and balance that with the front office and the media. At times it seemed like the decision-making, the field decision-making was secondary, even though it never was to him. And then I was so fortunate to get to see him go over to Cleveland, with a very young team, and kind of adjust on the fly and what he's done over there, with the help of some really good staff members and good players."

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