Last Call for 10.2.23 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

A digest of the day's politics and policy while the bartender refreshes your drink.

Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.

First Shot

Now that the Wild Card series of the 2023 MLB Postseason is set, it’s time for a check-in on Florida’s franchises.

Of the two, the Tampa Bay Rays are in a better position. The Rays finished the regular season with a 99-63 record and the No. 2 team in the AL East. According to the bookies at, they’re going into their series with the Texas Rangers as the presumptive favorite.

The current line that the Rays will advance is -165, which equates to implied odds of 63%, or 20/33 for those who prefer fractional odds. The Rangers are at +145, or 41% implied and 29/20 fractional.

The Miami Marlins, meanwhile, finished with an 84-77 record and as the No. 3 team the NL East. Likewise, they are underdogs in their series with the Philadelphia Phillies. puts the club at +180, which amounts to a 36% chance in implied odds and a 9/5 in fractional. The Phillies are set at -210.

Further out, has the Rays at +500 (17%) to win the AL Pennant and +1000 (9%) to win the World Series. The Marlins are a longshot at +1600 (6%) to win the NL Pennant and +3300 to become world champions.

The Atlanta Braves are the safe bet in the NL at +125 (44%) and are the top prospect to win the World Series at +300 (25%).

As with all odds, reminded bettors that the lines are subject to change and said they will be updated through the postseason. Keep up with the latest lines here.

Some postseason fun for the non-gamblers: St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch and the Tampa Bay Rays are holding a flag-raising ceremony on Tuesday.

The event, which is open to the public, will be held at St. Petersburg City Hall and will feature Welch, Pinellas County Commission Chair Janet C. Long, and one of the Rays’ Co-Presidents, Brian Auld or Matt Silverman.

Evening Reads

—”The government might shut down. Do Americans care?” via Leah Askarinam of FiveThirtyEight

—“Ron DeSantis invokes China ‘boogeyman’ narrative amid flailing campaign” via Richard Luscombe of The Guardian

—”DeSantis can’t stop meeting people who’ve been mugged” via Peter Wade of Rolling Stone

—”With unrealistic immigration proposals, DeSantis and Donald Trump try to outdo each other” via Nicholas Nehamas and Eileen Sullivan of The New York Times

—”The Supreme Court’s new term will be dominated by dangerous and incoherent lawsuits” via Ian Millhiser of Vox

—”Gainesville residents file lawsuit against DeSantis for GRU Authority appointments” via Andrew Caplan of The Gainesville Sun

—”In Florida, Surgeon General ushers in a bright new day for medical quackery” via Diane Roberts of the Florida Phoenix

—”How financial strength weakened American feminism” via Katherine Turk of The Atlantic

—”Disney may have ways to recycle Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser” via Dewayne Bevil of the Orlando Sentinel

Quote of the Day

“We’re losing members of our community; we’re losing friends, neighbors and children. And at the end of the day, this is simply unacceptable; pointing to systematic issues like poverty, racism, literacy rates and other things is not an excuse for bad behavior.”

— Sen. Tracie Davis, on the homicide rate in Jacksonville.

Put It on the Tab

Look to your left, then look to your right. If you see one of these people at your happy hour haunt, flag down the bartender and put one of these on your tab. Recipes included, just in case the Cocktail Codex fell into the well.

U.S. Rep. Neal Dunn was iffy on whether to vote to keep the government open, but disaster funding pushed him to the ‘yes’ camp. That earns him an Atta Boy.

No need to wait for Election Day; go ahead and grab former Senate President Don Gaetz a Welcome Home.

Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights isn’t for the faint of heart … but a couple Faint of Hearts might help parkgoers make it through the night.

The ‘Super Bowl Streaker’ says Florida’s new anti-streaking law wouldn’t stop her from doing it again. Sounds like a Poor Decision is in order.

Breakthrough Insights

Tune In

The bad news: Florida sports are taking Monday night off. The good news: You’ll have plenty to watch tomorrow. Here’s what’s on deck for Tuesday:

3:08 p.m. — Texas Rangers @ Tampa Bay Rays

7 p.m. — Florida Panthers @ Tampa Bay Lightning

8:08 p.m. — Miami Marlins @ Philadelphia Phillies


Last Call is published by Peter Schorsch, assembled and edited by Phil Ammann and Drew Wilson with contributions from the staff of Florida Politics.

Staff Reports


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

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