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Tampa Bay Rays don't stop believing

Offseason losses in the rearview mirror, Joe Maddon's squad ready to rumble in AL East

Updated: February 26, 2011, 9:15 AM ET
By Jayson Stark | ESPN.com

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- On the day he assembled a whole new generation of Tampa Bay Rays for the first time this spring, Joe Maddon repeated one of those fabled Maddon-isms that form the essence of what makes the Rays' manager/philosopher-king a one-of-a-kind leader.

"You've gotta believe it," Maddon told these men, "before you see it."

The manager was well aware of what -- or at least whom -- the players around him didn't see that day.

Carl Crawford, for instance.

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