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Rays Joe Maddon Is MLB's Most Popular Manager

More Major Leaguers want to play for Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon than any other skipper in the bigs, according to a poll of 291 MLB players conducted by Sports Illustrated magazine.

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The news should surprise no one in the Tampa Bay area, as Maddon's positivity and creativity have taken a less financially abled club to the top of baseballs toughest division two of the past three seasons. The national media recognition is a welcome respite from the typical tone around the mass media's coverage of the Rays, which focuses heavily on the antiquated stadium more than the talented men and women of the organization.

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Maddon, who received a three year contract extension from the club in 2009, is a master motivator who gets the most out of his players. His even keel demeanor combined with his often-documented eccentricities landed him in the top spot of SI's list ahead of Boston Red Sox skipper Terry Francona, Detroit's Jim Leyland, Los Angeles' Mike Scioscia (whom Maddon is a disciple of), and Cincinnati's Dusty Baker.

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So SBNation, who would you most like to play for?

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Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.