Friday, July 25, 2008

For sale by owner

Prior to spring training, I placed a bet that the Rays would win the AL (make it to the World Series). In their 10 years of existence, Tampa Bay has only finished out of last place once. The most games they'd ever won in a season was 70 games (which was still 21 games under .500). So understandably, I was getting a good price at 100-1.

Future Wager 12/13/07 22:53 ET
bet 15.73 to win 1,573.00 Result: Pending
2008 American League Pennant - Odds to Win
Tampa Bay Rays 11/01/08(12:00 ET)
100 - 1

Although it was mostly on a whim, I did have my reasons. They'd just traded for Matt Garza, who, along with Scott Kazmir and James Shields, gave them an impressive 1-2-3 punch of young starting pitchers. They had a lot of young talented bats as well- Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, Rocco Baldelli (who knew he'd go down in spring training with a mitochondrial disease), BJ Upton, and Evan Longoria. The consensus was that they were probably 2 years away from becoming a serious contender in the AL East, but I figured maybe everything could break right.

Well, everything did break right. As of July 6th, more than halfway through the season, they had the best record in baseball: 55-32. I wanted to sell my bet while their stock was at an all time high, so the week leading up to the 4th of July, I put the word out that I was willing to sell my share of the bet for $500. If the bet hit, the I'd cut a check to buyer for the full amount of $1,573. Despite a few nibbles, nothing materialized and the Rays proceeded to limp into the All-Star break with 7 straight losses. Flash forward to today, and their once impressive 5.5 game lead has dissipated. They're now tied with the Red Sox for 1st with the red-hot Yankees only 3 games back. At this point I'd sell my bet for a six-pack of Coronas. In fact, if you buy now, I'll throw in my 37 shares of Lehman Brothers stock (I bought in March- this just sickens me) for the low, low price of a six-pack and a box of donuts.

Lesson learned: I should've used Craigslist.


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