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


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?

Max Scherzer: ‘There’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions’

Max Scherzer
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MLBPA player representative Max Scherzer sent out a short statement late Wednesday night regarding the ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. On Tuesday, ownership proposed a “sliding scale” salary structure on top of the prorated pay cuts the players already agreed to back in March. The union rejected the proposal, with many worrying that it would drive a wedge in the union’s constituency.

Scherzer is one of eight players on the MLBPA executive subcommittee along with Andrew Miller, Daniel Murphy, Elvis Andrus, Cory Gearrin, Chris Iannetta, James Paxton, and Collin McHugh.

Scherzer’s statement:

After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions. We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there’s no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received. I’m glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint and believe MLB’s economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information.

Indeed, aside from the Braves, every other teams’ books are closed, so there has been no way to fact-check any of the owners’ claims. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, for example, recently said that 70 percent of the Cubs’ revenues come from “gameday operations” (ticket sales, concessions, etc.). But it went unsubstantiated because the Cubs’ books are closed. The league has only acknowledged some of the union’s many requests for documentation. Without supporting evidence, Ricketts’ claim, like countless others from team executives, can only be taken as an attempt to manipulate public sentiment.

Early Thursday morning, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the MLBPA plans to offer a counter-proposal to MLB in which the union would suggest a season of more than 100 games and fully guaranteed prorated salaries. It seems like the two sides are quite far apart, so it may take longer than expected for them to reach an agreement.