The Rangers vs. Rays food bet: Ribs vs. coconuts?

As if the stakes for the ALDS between the Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays weren't already high enough, the mayors from each metropolitan area are raising the bar by issuing the traditional food challenge.

Never mind Cliff Lee(notes) vs. David Price(notes). You know it's playoff time when food is on the line (or the table).

The Tampa-St. Pete area is in position to split its bill in case of a Rangers upset, with not one, not two, but three mayors contributing to the spread. St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster, Tampa mayor Pam Iorio and Clearwater mayor Frank Hibbard are all pitching in for a gift basket that includes "traditional Florida gourmet items" from the Columbia and Cha Cha Coconuts restaurants.

Looking at the two establishments' menus, it's difficult to determine what "traditional Florida gourmet items" are. (Maybe some Tampa-St. Pete natives can help us out?) But if the Rangers win, it looks like the mayor's mansion in Arlington can probably expect a delivery of shrimp. And some fruity drinks. And, uh, maybe some coconuts.

Meanwhile, Arlington mayor Robert Cluck is keeping it simple. He's bringing the barbeque. And not just any barbeque: Texas barbeque. Catered by Spring Creek Barbeque, a locally owned restaurant chain. Ahem.

So if the Rays win, the triumvirate of Tampa Bay area mayors will turn the risk of a few measly coconuts and get an assortment of ribs, sausage, chicken, ham and turkey in return.

The tradeoff doesn't seem very equitable.

But, hey, is anyone else hungry right now?

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