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WE LIKE THE RAYS BECAUSE THEY ARE OURS.

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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.

Carl Crawford: Because he lived through the train wreck of losing season after losing season and didnÕt whine, sulk or ask to be traded. Evan Longoria: Because 23-year-old rookies arenÕt 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 GarzaÕs 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 isnÕt 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 heÕs 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 batterÕs 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 heÕs 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: BecauseÕs heÕs 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. ThatÕs 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.ÕÕ

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