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Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon's new three-year deal official: "This is where I belong"

The Rays gave manager Joe Maddon a three-year contract extension that runs through the 2012 season.

"This is where I belong,'' Maddon said. "This is where I want to be. I really have to use the word love when I talk about this organization. ... For me, it's a no-brainer. I really want to stay here and I'm really grateful that I get the opportunity.'

Maddon, 55, agreed to terms last week, with only final details to be worked out. The deal was announced on a conference call this afternoon with Maddon, executive VP Andrew Friedman and team president Matt Silverman.

"It's a great day for the organization,'' Friedman said. "This is a no-brainer for us as well.''

Team president Matt Silverman said there "really wasn't a timetable" but that team's slow start had "nothing to do" with the timing of the extension, that it was a matter of getting past the "hecticness" of opening the season.

Silverman said there was "never a question" among team ownership and top team officials about keeping Maddon but allowed that "if there were any questions within the clubhouse, hopefully this contract answered those.''

Maddon is in the last year of his present deal, a two-year option after his original two-year term. The new deal will keep Maddon under contract with the Rays through 2012.

The Rays finished last in Maddon's first two seasons, losing 101 and 96 games, then staged a remarkable turnaround in 2008, winning 97 and reaching the Series. He was voted AL manager of the year.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:47am]


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