When World Series manager Kevin Cash almost joined the Red Sox' coaching staff


Kevin Cash is headed to the World Series as manager of the Tampa Bay Rays.

It's interesting to think how just a few Red Sox-related twists of fate landed the 42-year-old in this spot.

Cash has been the skipper for his hometown Rays since 2015, having now managed in 21 postseason games while following up back-to-back seasons of at least 90 wins with the best record in the American League this season.

And it was thanks in part to the Red Sox' Theo Epstein-induced drama with the Cubs, the former catcher found this path.

After retiring from playing in 2011 Cash was hired to become the advance scout for the Toronto Blue Jays, teaming up with his friend and former pitching coach John Farrell, who was manager for the Jays at the time.

The first crossroads for Cash came after that 2012 season when it was looking like Farrell was in line to head to Boston. It looked as though there might be a spot somewhere on the Sox' coaching staff but there were no guarantees and Cash's former manager in Boston Terry Francona was putting the full-court press on to join him in Cleveland as the bullpen coach.

Cash decided not to wait and jumped at the chance to join Francona.

A year went by and Farrell and the Red Sox had won the 2013 World Series, making bench coach Torey Lovullo a hot managerial candidate. One team that put Lovullo in the crosshairs was Epstein's Cubs.

Farrell's plan if Lovullo did go to Chicago? Cash was going to become his new bench coach.

But because the Red Sox' exercised what they believed was their right to block any movement from Boston to Chicago due to the Epstein move, Lovullo was not allowed to interview with the Cubs. (Sources confirmed Monday this was the case despite conflicting reports at the time.)

Cash ultimately remained in Cleveland, but not for long.

The following offseason he would get two out-of-the-blue managing interviews, one with Texas and the other in Tampa Bay. Thanks in part to a half-day mock interview conducted by the Cleveland front office, Cash nailed both, ultimately securing his current position with the Rays.

What would have happened if Cash ultimately got the job in Boston? Lovullo's status as a hot managing candidate took a bit of a hit after the Red Sox' terrible 2014 season, only to gain back momentum following his widely-praised stint as interim manager while Farrell recovered from cancer. (Moral: Bench coaches on bad teams don't alway have the easiest path to career advancement.)

But Cash found his way, as did Lovullo. Somewhat in part because of that short-term feud between the Red Sox and Cubs.

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