Should Alex Gordon have tried to steal home on Wednesday night?

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source: AP

Nothing else is going on, and we’re all sort of over asking whether Alex Gordon should’ve kept running in the ninth inning of Game 7, so let’s throw this one out there. It’s a reader email from Mark M.:

I wonder if you’d write about whether Ned Yost should have called a straight steal of home in the 7th game, bottom of the ninth, after there was one strike on Salvador Perez. There are some factors that might improve the possibility of a successful steal:

Alex Gordon, on third, is a fast runner.

Madison Bumgarner is lefty, and would not see a potential steal as quickly as a righty would.

Salvador Perez bats right, and would shield the base-stealer from Buster Posey’s view, at least a little bit.

After one strike on Perez, it was likely that the Giants would continue to throw him high pitches (“up the ladder”), which must be caught and brought down to tag a sliding base-stealer.

A straight steal would be risky, but I wonder if there is enough info to assign a numerical probability, and compare it to Perez’s on-base percentage after he’s already got one strike.

I can’t assign probability because I’m a math moron, but the thought is interesting to me in the same way any hypothetical baseball thoughts are interesting, especially when the baseball is all over and all we have to talk about are player options. My gut: really damn low percentage move, and one that would be more likely to lead to someone getting fired than a bad send on the original hit may have, and we know that human beings are risk-averse animals for the most part.

I guess all I’d offer is that, if you’re gonna do it, maybe have Terrance Gore do it as a pinch runner. Or would that eliminate the element of surprise?

Man, I dunno. What do you all think?

Evan Gattis says he is ‘done playing’ baseball

Evan Gattis
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In a recent appearance on the 755 Is Real Podcast, hosted by The Athletic’s David O’Brien and former Braves reliever Eric O’Flaherty, catcher Evan Gattis confirmed he is “done playing” baseball. Gattis said back in October that he didn’t have any desire to continue playing the game, so this news comes as no surprise.

Gattis, 33, hit .226/.284/.452 with 25 home runs and 78 RBI for the Astros in 2018. The Astros did not extend him a qualifying offer, then $17.9 million. Though reporting on specific offers is scant, it is hard to imagine he received zero offers, or would have received zero offers if he were still interested in playing.

Gattis has one of the more interesting stories out there. He was a well-regarded college baseball prospect, but he battled anxiety and substance abuse. He checked into rehab and, temporarily, abandoned his baseball-related pursuits. Gattis eventually resumed playing college baseball but suffered an injury, prompting him to drop out of college. He went on to take on some not-so-glamorous jobs, including working in a pizza shop, as a parking valet, a ski-lift operator, and a janitor. Gattis battled more mental health issues, suffering from insomnia and depression, resulting in suicidal ideation. He checked into an inpatient psychiatric ward for several days. Afterwards, Gattis roamed around the west coast, going from Colorado to New Mexico to California to Wyoming.

In 2010, Gattis returned to baseball, playing for the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. He performed rather well, resulting in his being drafted by the Braves in the 23rd round that year. He worked his way through the minors quickly, debuting in the majors in 2013. The rest, as they say, is history. Gattis retires with a career .248/.300/.476 batting line along with 139 home runs, 410 RBI, and 299 runs scored over 2,662 trips to the plate.

The story of Gattis is an important one because mental health in general was not taken seriously, especially among men. It still isn’t, to a large degree, but it’s better now than it was 10 years ago. Due to social taboos and gender norms, men are much less likely to seek help for mental health issues. That Gattis — a burly avatar of testosterone — was willing to be vulnerable about his struggles with his mental health was important.