If Astros win World Series, Texas gambler will earn record payout
A prolific Texas gambler with a knack for attention-getting bets stands to win nearly $75 million if the Houston Astros win the World Series, including what sportsbooks say would be the largest payout on a single legal sports bet in U.S. history.
Astros’ Baker gets COVID-19 vaccine after initial reticence
Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker Jr. walks out to the infield for the national anthem before Game 7 of a baseball American League Championship Series between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)HOUSTON – Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker said he had been vaccinated against COVID-19 as the team began spring training Thursday. But the 71-year-old Baker, who is Black, understands the reticence of some in his community to get the vaccine because of this country’s history with medical studies on Black people without permission. “I was very aware of the experiment and so was my mom and dad,” Baker said. Though Baker decided getting the vaccine was right for him, he won’t try to change the mind of people who are “staunchly against” getting it.
AP source: Astros agree to $7M, 2-year deal with Castro
(AP Photo/Derrick Tuskan)HOUSTON – Catcher Jason Castro has agreed to a $7 million, two-year contract with the Houston Astros, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Thursday because the deal had not been announced. Castro played for both the Angels and the Padres last season where he appeared in 27 games and hit .188 with two homers and nine RBIs. He spent the previous three seasons with the Twins where he played 208 games and hit .229. Castro had his best years with the Astros where he 617 games and was named to the All-Star game in 2013.
AP source: Springer agrees to $150M, 6-year deal with Jays
A slow free agent market saw only 21 of 181 players who became free agents following the World Series enter Tuesday with finalized agreements. Toronto has been linked to most of the top free agents this winter, but now has the one it wanted most. It's not clear where the Blue Jays will begin the 2021 season. The Blue Jays have had to overpay free agents to play in Canada before, but the Springer contract will be just the second $100 million-plus deal in team history. Vernon Wells and the Blue Jays agreed to a $126 million, seven-year contract in 2006.
Arozarena, Rays top Astros 4-2 in Game 7, reach World Series
The Rays will face either the Los Angeles Dodgers or Atlanta Braves in the World Series in Arlington, Texas, starting Tuesday night. Tampa Bay’s only other World Series appearance was in 2008, when it lost to the Philadelphia Phillies. Boston went on to win its first World Series in 86 seasons. Morton and McCullers became the first pair to pitch in the same winner-take-all postseason game as teammates and later start against each other in a winner-take-all game. HOMER RECORDArozarena is only one homer away from matching the major league record of eight homers in any single postseason.
Springer, Astros beat Rays 7-4 to force Game 7 in ALCS
Houston chased starter Blake Snell in the fifth before Springer hit a go-ahead, two-run single and scored on Altuve’s double. The Red Sox stunned the New York Yankees to win the ALCS before winning their first World Series in 86 seasons. Game 7 on Saturday night will feature the pitchers who started and finished Houston’s Game 7 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2017 World Series. Right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. will go for the Astros while 36-year-old Charlie Morton is expected to start for the Rays. As a player, he helped the Los Angeles Dodgers win the World Series in 1981 against the New York Yankees.
Astros' Verlander needs elbow surgery, likely out thru 2021
FILE- In this July 24, 2020, file photo, Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander throws against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of a baseball game in Houston. The Astros announced Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, that Verlander needs Tommy John surgery and could miss the entire 2021 season. “I tried as hard as I could to come back and play this season,” Verlander said. “First of all, you can’t replace Justin Verlander,” Click said. “No one person can replace Justin Verlander.
LEADING OFF: Virus, Gulf Coast storm force sked shuffling
The Washington Nationals play the New York Mets during the third inning of a baseball game at Citi Field Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020, in New York. Michael Conforto and the Mets will start making up the misses this week. The Astros, meanwhile, have reshuffled their series against Mike Trout and the Angels because of Tropical Storm Laura. Chatwood is lined up to start the game at Detroit and Quintana will begin his return in the bullpen. Their weekend series at Citi Field was wiped out when two members of the Mets organization tested positive for the virus.
Benches clear in first Astros-Dodgers game since scandal
HOUSTON Benches cleared Tuesday night in the first game between the Astros and Dodgers since it was revealed that Houston stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series championship that came at Los Angeles' expense. The fracas occurred after Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly threw high-and-tight pitches to Astros stars Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa in the sixth inning. There were two outs in the inning when Kelly threw an errant breaking ball over Correas head. Correa started walking toward him and the players exchanged words, prompting the benches to clear. Order was restored after a couple of minutes, but Houston manager Dusty Baker was still upset before play resumed and got in the face on an umpire.
Nationals, Astros cancel workouts because of testing delays
WASHINGTON Baseball's two World Series finalists canceled workouts Monday because of COVID-19 testing delays that one executive worried could endanger the baseball season. The defending champion Washington Nationals and reigning American League champion Houston Astros each called off training camp practices after not receiving test results from Friday. Two Nationals players were among the 31 to test positive during intake testing last week. Manager Dave Martinez said Sunday some of the 60 Nationals players tested were still awaiting results. Its just, the front end is taking longer than I think it will throughout the year.Not every team is dissatisfied with the testing process.
Tigers load up with more college bats on Day 2 of MLB draft
NEW YORK The Detroit Tigers took a few more big swings at rebuilding their lineup. Ohio State catcher Dillon Dingler led off the draft's second day as the No. 3 overall pick to the Marlins, and they followed with Oklahoma high school lefty Daxton Fulton (No. 1 overall pick for the second time in three years, after taking Auburn right-hander Casey Mize in 2018. With their potential future ace already sailing through the farm system, the Tigers turned to bats this time.