Rays are dressed to impress on the streets of Philadelphia

If you're in the Philadelphia airport this morning and see a group of young men wearing classy blue jackets, neatly-knotted ties and clean-pressed khakis, please don't ask them to debate the relative merits of late-19th century populism in rural Russia.

Rather, you might just ask them to throw a fastball or swing a bat because the nattily-attired lads are not from the USF debate team, they're all members of the Tampa Bay Rays and are under instruction from manager Joe Maddon to all dress alike for their trip up north.

Seriously, the quirky Tampa Bay manager has declared the quick jaunt up to Philadelphia the team's final "dress-up" trip and is requiring the players to all wear prep school garb instead of the more relaxed jeans and Ed Hardy t-shirt look the young squad usually prefers.

It's obviously a means of keeping the team loose, while promoting team unity at the same time. It's obviously also the brainchild of Maddon, who made history on Thursday by becoming the first manager to ever be asked "have you studied any business philosophers?" before a World Series game.

Maddon on his inspiration for the team's travel wear:

"I was motivated by going to Boston (during the ALCS). I had dinner the other night by Harvard, upstairs on the square. I'm sitting in there and I wanted to watch the playoff game and they had the debate on. I thought that was kind of cool. I'm thinking the next road trip we're going khakis, with the blue blazer ... Going to Philadelphia, it's a preppy kind of a situation. I just thought I'd give the guys a taste of that."

First the Phillies played with rubber duckies. Now the Rays are dressing like high schoolers. Bit by bit, this World Series is slowly growing into adulthood.

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