Chi Chi Rodriguez disses Rays at Soiree; Cash fires back
Eighty-year-old golfer Chi Chi Rodriguez, who has carved out a Hall of Fame career in part by playfully brandishing his putter like a sword, whipped out something even sharper Thursday night: his tongue.
By the end of Rodriguez's off-the-cuff speech, at the Tampa Bay Sports Commission's annual Sneaker Soiree, Rodriguez had taken a stab or two at the Rays, prompting normally reserved Rays manager Kevin Cash to joust back moments later.
"I know a little bit about baseball," said Rodriguez, presented the Lee Roy Selmon Lifetime Achievement Award. "I know that your Tampa...the team, you know. No pitching."
Rodriguez, whose Clearwater-based, non-profit youth foundation has helped abused or troubled kids for nearly 40 years, then proclaimed his love for the Yankees.
Moments later, Cash took the stage for a brief interview with local TV personality Rock Riley, who asked for his impressions on being a big-league manager and the challenges he faces.
"Obviously I don't have to listen to Chi Chi Rodriguez every night talk about the Yankees," said Cash, his tone eliciting more than a little resentment. "That's a first and foremost. My gosh Chi Chi, we're at a Tampa Bay event. C'mon, man."