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John Jaso is probably retiring, plans to live on his sailboat and wander the earth

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Elizabeth Bloom of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Pirates utilityman John Jaso is likely retiring.

Jaso, who is 34, will be a free agent as soon as the postseason is over. He took a step back offensively this year and he’s a few years removed from being a catcher, which likely limits his market. But those considerations do not seem to be at the forefront of his mind as he leans toward hanging it up. Rather, he’s just interested in doing other things.

Things like living on his sailboat, helping with Hurricane Maria rebuilding efforts and wandering the earth:

Jaso said he plans to travel, live on a sailboat and contribute to Puerto Rico’s hurricane relief efforts. He has some experience working in construction thanks to his uncle, he said. Jaso said he plans to be in touch with Pirates third base coach Joey Cora and Mike Gonzalez, special assistant to the general manager for cultural initiatives, who are Puerto Rican and are helping to facilitate the team’s relief efforts on the island.

“Traveling, living simply, being anonymous, that sort of stuff,” Jaso said of his post-baseball plans. “Really I just want to live a simple life. I have a sailboat, so I just want to sail away. If you live on a sailboat, it’s really hard to live complicated. You have to keep things simple, so that’s kind of my catalyst and everything, and my ride and my home.”

Jaso says his “mind is going elsewhere” these days, though he can’t say for sure if he’s done. If this is it for Jaso, he finishes his nine-year big league career with a pretty nice batting line of .258/.356/.407 with 55 homers and 281 RBI for the Rays, Mariners, A’s and Pirates.

Astros push ALCS to Game 7 with 7-1 stunner against Yankees

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There’s just something about playing in your home ballpark. The Astros decimated the Yankees at Minute Maid Park on Friday, riding seven scoreless innings from Justin Verlander and a pair of big runs from Jose Altuve to win 7-1 and force a Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

Through the first four innings, however, the teams looked equally matched. Luis Severino no-hit the Astros through 3 2/3 innings, losing his bid on Carlos Correa‘s line drive single in the fourth. The Astros returned in the fifth to do some real damage, drawing two walks and plating the first run of the night with Brian McCann‘s ground-rule double off of the right field wall. Things didn’t get any easier for Severino. Jose Altuve lined a two-RBI base hit into left field, upping Houston’s advantage to three runs.

Verlander, meanwhile, muted the Yankees’ offense with seven innings of five-hit, eight-strikeout ball. While he didn’t come close to matching his complete game effort in Game 2, he was still plenty dominant against a struggling New York lineup. No player reached past first base until the sixth inning, when a pair of base hits from Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius gave the Yankees their first runner in scoring position. That didn’t last long, though, as Gary Sanchez grounded out on a 3-0 slider to end the inning.

In the seventh, Houston’s ace got into another spot of trouble. He walked Greg Bird on six pitches to start the inning, then plunked Starlin Castro on the wrist. Aaron Hicks struck out, in part thanks to a questionable call by home plate umpire Jim Reynolds, but it was Todd Frazier who presented the biggest threat after returning an 0-1 fastball for a 403-foot fly out to left field. Luckily for Verlander, George Springer was there to bail him out with a leaping catch at the wall.

The Yankees kept things exciting in the eighth, too. Aaron Judge ripped his third postseason home run off of Brad Peacock, taking a 425-footer out to the train in left field to spoil the Astros’ shutout. That was the only real break the Yankees got, however, as Altuve, Alex Bregman and Evan Gattis returned in the bottom of the inning to tack on another four runs, including Altuve’s solo shot off of David Robertson:

Ken Giles handled the ninth, expending 23 pitches and giving up a base hit and a walk before retiring Frazier and Headley to end the game. Thanks to Houston’s winning efforts, the two teams will compete in their first seven-game Championship Series since 2004 — and this time, at least one of them is guaranteed to come away with a win.

Game 7 of the ALCS is set for Saturday at 8:00 PM ET. Houston right-hander Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA) is scheduled to face southpaw CC Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA).