When Mayors Bet On Baseball, Does The Food Tell The Tale?

Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies

Cole Hamels Takes A Bite Out Of The Series: "I hold my cheesesteak in this hand, and then I pitch like this." Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Mayoral wagers are as time-honored a sports tradition as talking trash, celebrating at City Hall, and stealing signs.

This year's World Series, which began last night, pits the Philadelphia Phillies against the Tampa Bay Rays — a team with a long history of futility (the Phils have one title to show for their 125 years of existence) versus a team with a short history of futility (the ten-year-old Rays posted nine consecutive losing seasons).

On Tuesday, on the eve of the Series, the mayors of St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Tampa — respectively, Rick Baker, Frank Hibbard and Pam Iorio — engaged their Philly counterpart, mayor Michael Nutter, in the familiar foodie challenge.

More details and what they might mean, after the jump...

No one would argue that these wagers are anything more than cutesy human-interest stories, entirely irrelevant to the action on the field, which baseball experts say is likely to come down to a battle between the Rays' defense versus the Phils' power hitting. But that's not to say there's nothing that can be learned from the mayors' bet.

Historically, one of the keys of October baseball is power pitching — "to bring the heat," in diamond parlance. In foodie terms, the Florida mayors have taken the lead of the Rays' staff of young hurlers. They have brought the heat.

Nutter offered Philly cheesesteaks, Tastykakes, soft pretzels, mac-n-cheese from Delilah's Southern CafĂ© and a Rocky statue. Cheesesteaks and soft pretzels are among the glories of American street food, but Nutter's proposed rotation looks pitifully thin beyond those treats. (And come on, Mr. Mayor — a Rocky statue?)



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