The interesting thing-
1- Supposedly, Maddon was the only other candidate for the sox manager in 2003 other than Francona, I'm not sure how much stock i place in this because I don't really remember hearing his name too much.
2- The Rays, with their new GM, have taken a similar stats driven, internal development approach that Theo Epstein has taken with the Sox.
3- Other teams (read= Yankees) continue to adhere to a regimen of 'buying talent' on the open market, choosing to fly in the face of the imperical evidence that now TWO teams within their division have been able to demonstrate that success can be built from within- even when their own World Series Runs were feuled by home grown players.
I like the Rays as the underdog team, but I think the Phillies are hungry, they got to the playoffs and got snuffed last year, and I think that's created a stronger sense of purpose for them than the Rays, who's conception of the World Series has been nebulous, they know it's good, but I think the hunger might not be as acute.
I'm leaning Rays, but I would genuinely not be suprised if the Phillies get it. Either way, I believe this will be a great World Series for Baseball.