Cowboy up: Phils don hats for trip to Denver

Ruiz gets Mackanin to relax dress code, allowing everyone to wear jeans

Cowboy up: Phils don hats for trip to Denver

DENVER -- Carlos Ruiz loves the cowboy lifestyle.

He owns a ranch with horses and cattle back in his native Panama, and anybody that has seen his Instagram account (carlos_ruiz_rios) has seen his affinity for horses and cowboy attire. That passion prompted him to purchase cowboy hats for the Phillies to wear on their trip Wednesday from Philadelphia to Denver.

Teammates posted numerous photos of their getups to social media.

"It was a great day," Ruiz said before Thursday's 11-2 loss against the Rockies at Coors Field. "We played real good baseball [in a 4-3 victory over Atlanta]. It was a hell of a game. Then everybody was happy wearing the cowboy hats. It was something different. We try to get everybody to relax, you know? Everybody enjoyed it."

Ruiz got a cowboy hat during the team's recent trip to Arizona, which triggered the idea to have everybody wear them.

"Other guys were saying that they liked it," Ruiz said.

Ruiz asked Phillies left-hander Adam Morgan if he should buy one for everybody. Morgan said yes. Ruiz later approached manager Pete Mackanin to see if he would wear one.

"I don't like clown hats," Mackanin said. "I don't want that stuff."

But cowboy hats are cool, so he agreed to wear one. Ruiz also asked Mackanin about relaxing the dress code for the flight. Team personnel have to wear dress shirts and dress pants when flying, but, hey, cowboys wear jeans, right?

So Mackanin gave everybody the OK to wear jeans, tying the ensemble together nicely.

Of course, it was just a normal outfit for Ruiz, who occasionally rides horses in the offseason.

"When I retire, I'll have plenty of time to do that every day," Ruiz said.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.