Watching the Spartans whup on the boys from Watsonville, the question arises; at what point do you stop stealing bases against an opponent? To settle this deep, philosophical question, which has daunted mankind since we crawled out of the primordial ooze (i.e. pre-baseball), here is the definitive ranking:
0 – 5 runs ahead – Don’t be silly, keep running.
9 runs ahead – If you get your first pang of guilt while nine runs ahead, you should not be coaching, or playing, baseball.
6 runs ahead – Keep running, unless it’s the first inning.
Until the game is over and you win – This is only acceptable if you are in a tournament, are trying to ten run the other team to conserve pitching, and you will never play the opponent again.
Except if you are the away team, playing at a school with a median family income 42% or more above your school. In that case, once the ass-kicking commences, never let up.
9 runs ahead as the home team in the sixth inning or later – Acceptable to put them out of their misery and let them go home, unless they have their backup catcher behind the plate or a kid who rarely pitches on the mound (baseball is complicated).
10 runs ahead as the away team – Only acceptable if the home team fans or coaches are jerks (baseball is simple).
8 runs ahead – Some say this is the right answer. I say those people are sociopaths.
It depends – Except as noted above, no it does not.
7 runs ahead – This. This is what separates ballplayers from the savagery that is life.