If you have $5,000 and faith in the Astros, you could be a millionaire


Nick Mathews of the Houston Chronicle tweets that the Astros have the odds stacked against them to win the World Series in 2014 — 200-to-1 odds, in fact. Saving us from having to do the math ($1,000,000/200), he adds that if you wager $5,000 on the Astros to win it all and they do, you’ll end up a millionaire.

Snicker all you want, but longer odds have paid off in recent history. On September 12, 2011, the Cardinals were 500-to-1 to win the National League pennant, and 999-to-1 to win the World Series. A fan in Las Vegas put $250 on both at the MGM grand. As the Cardinals vanquished the Phillies in five games in the NLDS, cut through the Brewers in six in the NLCS, and toppled the Rangers in seven in the World Series, that fan walked away with $125,000 for the pennant wager and $249,750 on the World Series wager for a total of $374,750.

If you have fifty $100 bills  laying around that you were going to throw in the shredder or use to line the bird cage, why not bet on the Astros instead? You may end up looking like a genius.

Ryan Zimmerman’s spring training has been . . . weird

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Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman has played in exactly one Grapefruit league game this year, and that was way back on March 2. Since then he has been totally absent from the Nats’ big league spring games, playing instead on the back fields in sim games and in minor league contests.

While that’s not an unusual course of action for an injured or rehabbing player, both Zimmerman and the Nationals insist that there is nothing wrong with him. Per this report from MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, they’re saying that Zimmerman “simply prefers to get his work done in the more controlled environment of minor league games, where the rules are lax.” He doesn’t have to dive for balls, he can lead off every inning, etc. Manager Dave Martinez says Zimmerman simply doesn’t like the usual spring training grind and that this is working for him so he’s fine with it too.

Are you buyin’ that? Not sure I’m buyin’ that.

I suppose weirder things have happened. The Minnesota Twins once let Jack Morris go back to his farm in between starts rather than stay with the club. Other accommodations have been made for veterans, especially in spring training. But this is way more in keeping with a team hiding an injury. Though I have no idea why the Nats would choose to hide an injury to Zimmerman. They’ve talked at length about Daniel Murphy‘s knees and Adam Eaton‘s seemingly never-ending rehab. If Zimmerman has some aches and pains, you’d think they’d talk about it.

On the other hand, if this is a legit story and it is simply an accommodation for a veteran who doesn’t like the normal spring training grind, look for Zimmerman to be a trailblazer, because there are a LOT of dudes who hate spring training too and would love to change things up like this.