Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona enjoys a good laugh. Whether he’s wrestling with a media member, teasing one of his players or opening up 25-year-old baseball cards, Francona seems to enjoy himself. He’s even able to laugh it off when he’s the target of a joke.
More often than not, though, Francona is the one doing the pranking. That was the case Monday when Kevin Cash and the Tampa Bay Rays came to town. Francona decided to greet the opposing manager with a humorous, but rude, scoreboard graphic.
— #VoteTribe 5x a day (@Indians) May 15, 2017
Francona had the scoreboard crew put up a graphic titled “How bad is Kevin Cash at the plate” on the big screen at Progressive Field. It lists Cash’s .183/.248/.278 career slash line and notes that he has the fifth-worst OPS+ of all-time not including pitchers. Ouch!
Before you start thinking baseball has a new manager rivalry, calm down. Cash and Francona are actually close friends. Francona managed Cash for three seasons with the Boston Red Sox. Once Cash transitioned into coaching, he joined Francona’s staff as the Indians’ bullpen coach.
This isn’t even the first time Francona has taken a shot at his buddy. He had a similar graphic posted on the scoreboard in 2016.
Cash definitely saw the graphic. It was up as he was tossing batting practice to his club.
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) May 15, 2017
The whole thing seems to be all in good fun. If anything is hurt, it might be Cash’s ego, but it seems like he can deal with a mild ribbing from his former boss.
And, hey, there’s no better way for Cash to get revenge than by winning the series against Cleveland in their house. If that doesn’t work out, the Rays scoreboard staff could always remind Francona he had a 3-1 lead in the World Series last year.
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