You’ve heard of the movie The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh? Well, if Jonah Keri’s new book is ever made into a movie, they can call it The Gefilte Fish That Saved Tampa.

Yep, this book is as much about the Tribe as it is the Rays. As Keri explains during our conversation, despite the title, it’s not Moneyball (I think he’s contractually obligated to distance himself from that comparison as much as possible.) This is a story about how a bunch of financial guys (read: JEWS) took their money-making logic and translated it into baseball, getting their team from worst to “first” — we debate that notion, considering the Rays finished second in 2008 to a team lovingly referred to as the Philadelphia Phillies. The idea of “first” is still there, as the Rays did win their division and the pennant with a payroll somewhere around 1/5th of what teams in their own division were shelling out. It’s a pretty amazing story.

But how much of the Rays was good business and how much of it was good baseball? Can the two be mutually exclusive anymore? And oh, CARLOS PENA, how much of their 2008 season was pure luck?

There’s a lot of inside baseball stuff in the interview, including the importance of attendance numbers to a team’s bottom line and whether making money is more important than winning games. We also get into the process of writing a book like this, how a series of Expos message board rants can lead to writing a book and just how helpful — or unhelpful — the Rays were in the process.

Keri is going to be all over the place today , so instead of reading a long recap of what we discussed, just listen to this and then read what he wrote.