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Rays Tank: Missed connections; a Yankees confession

To keep society from falling apart.

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

There are a few foundational concepts on which civilization is built.

The conception of property, either individual or communal, is important, as it enables division of labor. A system of writing and accounting enables coordination within groups larger than a single pack or tribe. Order stems from a central authority. But there's one concept more crucial than all of them. Without it there must surely exist a State of Nature (and I mean Hobbes's nasty state, not Locke's idealistic primordial paradise).

When one loses a bet, one must pay up.

It's that simple, but in 2003 I committed the minor crime of betting on the Yankees and the major crime of not making good my debt when I lost.

In 2003 I was a junior in high school, and apparently something of a punk. Shortly before the start of the World Series, I ate with a friend at a restaurant in Tampa International Mall, where we got to chatting with our waiter (who seemed like a really cool guy) about the upcoming matchup. We (my friend and I) maintained that the Yankees were an unbeatable juggernaut with a $150 million payroll and at least four future hall-of-famers. The waiter argued that the $50 million Marlins were a team of destiny, and that what is $100 million before destiny anyway?

Anyway, we decided on the bet. If the Yankees won, he would treat us to a free dinner at the restaurant. If the Marlins won, we would acquire for him something specific. The Marlins won, of course, and we never went back to that restaurant.

So here's the deal. If you were that waiter in Tampa International Mall in 2003 who made a bet with and then got gypped by a gangly white guy and a small Vietnamese with a bowl cut, email me (or if you know who this might have been, please send this to him). If anyone can properly identify the restaurant and the prize owed, I'll be good for it now.

Links and Other News

The Lighting won 4-1 last night to eliminate the Montreal Canadiens and advance to the Eastern Conference finals. If you weren't already, it's time to get excited, and the folks at Raw Charge can hep you with that.

The attendance at last night's game was a new low for the Yankees in Tampa Bay, at 10,417. Oh well. Looks like it's time to contract the Yanks.

Here's some good video from Chris Archer after the game from Sports Talk Florida.

There's more interviews in their article, so click over to hear from David DeJesus and Nate Karns as well.

In Topkin's recap, he notes that Evan Longoria told Rivera and Archer to change the signs after the early struggles, so the idea that the Yanks had a little something extra going on isn't quite going away, despite Kevin Cash's eventual discounting of it.

The Rays will likely get their top relief pitcher Jake McGee back this weekend, says Bill Chastain of

Today is the Rays broadcast auction, and prizes include hitting lessons with Kevin Kiermaier, pitching lessons with Jake Odorizzi, and many more, including your best chance to make a #TWSS appearance (RIP #TWSS). All proceeds go to the Rays Foundation and to Tampa General Hospital, so if you've got the money to bid, show them some love.

The Hardball Times on the physics of radar guns.

It's a few days old, but with all the talk about hitting with runners in scoring position, now's a good time to review the clutch hitting/clutch hitters question with Scott Lindholm's visualizations.

Craig Edwards on modern bullpen usage. There's a section in there about the Rays and the high innings total.