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World Series Tampa Bay Rays: Every reason to love these guys

We like the Rays because they are ours. But there's more to it than that. These are good guys. Not a bad apple in the bunch, and there's something unique to like about each guy. Here are the Rays and why we like each of them so much.

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Carl Crawford: Because he lived through the train wreck of losing season after losing season and didn't whine, sulk or ask to be traded.

Evan Longoria: Because 23-year-old rookies aren't supposed to be this good, what with 27 homers, 85 RBIs and two dingers in his very first two postseason at-bats.

Carlos Pena: Truly one of the nicest people on earth, and how can you not love that goofy dance before every game?

Akinori Iwamura: Say you up and moved to Japan tomorrow. Do you think you would fit in as well as Aki has here?

Dioner Navarro: Because he saved Matt Garza's season by getting in his face in Chicago this year.

Matt Garza: Because he saved his season after Navarro got in his face in Chicago this year. (Plus, after Game 7 of the ALCS, this guy is in our cool book pretty much forever.)

B.J. Upton: Sometimes we sigh when it looks like he isn't hustling, but no denying he has shown up in the postseason and he really is a good man.

James Shields: Two words — Coco Crisp.

Grant Balfour: Because the guy is a mix between Crocodile Dundee and that Dennis Hopper character in Blue Velvet.

Scott Kazmir: Because he still looks like your teenage brother even though he's a 24-year-old flame-thrower.

Jason Bartlett: Because he has made us forget all about Delmon Young.

Willy Aybar: Because of that dead eyes look he has in the batter's box right before he drills a shot into the gap.

Ben Zobrist: Because there are good Mohawks and then there are Hall of Fame Mohawks, like the one Zobrist has.

Andy Sonnanstine: Because the only thing this guy does is win even though you swear you could hit him if you had the chance.

David Price: Because when we were 23 we could barely tuck in our shirt let alone save the last inning of the American League Championship Series.

J.P. Howell: Because he lost his spot in the rotation then went out and became the best reliever on the team.

Edwin Jackson: Because he cheered as hard as anyone even when he was left off the roster for the first-round series.

Trever Miller: Because he loves baseball, but he lives for his family.

Cliff Floyd: Because he's the anti-Delmon. A leader who cares more about the name on the front of the jersey than the back.

Dan Wheeler: Because he will pitch in any situation you ask and face it with no fear.

Chad Bradford: Because even when he tosses a can in the garbage he throws it underhanded.

Gabe Gross: Because's he's so secure in his faith that he has Blessed Be Your Name as his walkup music.

Rocco Baldelli: Our favorite because of all he has been through (on and off the field) and that his story appears to have a happy ending.

Fernando Perez: The dude went to Columbia. That's dope.

,Michel Hernandez: The journeyman backup catcher who nearly chucked it all to become an electrician is living a big-league dream.

Joe Maddon: The glasses. The vocabulary. The intellect. The wine. The bike. To paraphrase him, "Corny has become cool.''

World Series Tampa Bay Rays: Every reason to love these guys 10/23/08 [Last modified: Friday, October 24, 2008 11:09am]
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