Welcome to another off-day puzzle. For today's edition, you'll find below a short, fictional anecdote involving our favorite 1st baseman, James Loney. Please read it through carefully, use your imagination, and try to pick up on the clues that will help you help him escape harm!
Premise: Dodger 1st baseman James Loney (known as "King" James to beloved reader Karina, among others) lives amongst his family and friends in a safe, comfortable neighborhood on the south side of town. One evening he gets the munchies and ill-advisedly decides to head to the dangerous north side of town (perhaps in search of a White Castle?). Dressed in his freshly-pressed home whites, James sets out on foot. Unfortunately, his travels soon take him through unfamiliar territory, and he eventually finds himself in an open and seemingly deserted field. He anxiously trudges on but does not know in which direction to head. He is lost and alone on the north side of town, and nightfall is quickly approaching.
James then hears footsteps in the distance. He looks around and notices four men each several yards away in different directions. All four are clearly watching him, and seem to be slowly moving closer. James tries to retain his cool. He quickens his pace but refrains from running, and discreetly observes his pursuers, nervously glancing at each.
The first thing James notices about them is that while the four men are following him, each seems to be moving in a distinct and indirect path toward him. James then notices that each is carrying a baseball bat. Not a good sign. Then, as the men inch closer, he realizes something else: each man is wearing the hideous alternate home uniform of the arch-rival Giants. Hmmm...very strange, and definitely bad news. It then dawns on him - each man is a former Giants player! He recognizes the four thugs as:
- Rich Robertson, SF Giants '66-'71;
- Bob Knepper, SF Giants '76-'80,'89-'90;
- Luis Quiñones, SF Giants '86;
- John Patterson, SF Giants '92-'95;
This realization only increases James' fear. He continues his way through the field but before he knows it, the four men have surrounded him and have closed to within arms' length, one at each corner. They are clearly intent on doing him serious harm. James knows he is in mortal danger, particularly when both Patterson and Quiñones raise their bats to strike him down...
Here is a visual representation of James' situation:
Question: Loney must act immediately or likely face an untimely death. His options are:
A) Run north, between Patterson and Quiñones;
B) Run south, between Robertson and Knepper;
C) Run east, between Knepper and Quiñones;
D) Run west, between Robertson and Patterson;
E) Attack Patterson;
F) Attack Knepper;
G) Attack Quiñones;
H) Attack Robertson;
What should James do?
Note: Hints available upon request. And as always, if you think you might have the solution but aren't sure, it means you probably don't have the solution. Enjoy!_________________________________
Hint #1 (11:43am PT): I chose those four ex-Giants for a specific reason, but not related to their positions played, years played, and/or stats. You won't need www.baseball-reference.com to solve this one.
Hints #2 & 3 (1:08pm PT): Technically, the existence of the compass is not required to pick the right answer, but it should help you verify that your reasoning is correct. And there's a reason I picked King James to be the protagonist rather than another Dodger.
Hint #4 (2:16pm PT): You don't have to research anything about the players involved, but you do have to think outside the boxes.
Solution: See here.
Additional Note: As mentioned, if you solve the puzzle correctly, you will be certain of it. If so, please don't post the explanation and spoil it for the rest...please instead post that you think you solved it and send us an email with your reasoning. Thanks!