1. Rays

Tampa city council honors Joe Maddon following contract extension

TAMPA — The Tampa City Council publicly honored Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon on Thursday, just one day after Maddon signed a three-year contract extension with the Rays.

"You're such a gift to our community," said city council member Mary Mulhern. "We're glad you're not just property but have become a citizen of the City of Tampa."

As Mulhern passed a plaque to Maddon, he pursed his lips and studied his prize. He flashed the award to a crowd assembled behind him then said thank you.

"I have really come to appreciate and really respect and love this particular area," said the reigning American League manager of the year. "There's no other place I wanted to be."

He promised to display the plaque "proudly" in his office.

Maddon said he's excited to get back to training in the upcoming days; Rays catchers and pitchers report to camp on Sunday.

And Mulhern said Tampa Bay residents are lucky to have him.

"The Tampa Bay area is fortunate to have Maddon leading our Rays for another three years," she said.