Now that you are recovering from your post-All-Star Game revelry, we've got to make sure that your brains are back in the swing of things. So here comes Off-Day Puzzle #6, and those of you detail-oriented folks will notice it's the first puzzle in the Puzzle Championship Series from an author other than SoSG Eric Karros (translation: keep expectations low). This go-round, you have yet another hypothetical situation on which to chew, this time involving our own beloved Matt Kemp.
Premise: Kemp enters the Dodger dugout early, showing up to batting practice so far in advance he even gets there before Juan Pierre. And as he walks by coach Torre's office, he sees his manager inside the office, finishing up the lineup card for that evening. Given Torre's penchant for crazy, illogical, and dare I say unsound lineups, Kemp expects to be surprised. However, Kemp has no idea how surprising today's conversation will be.
"Hey coach, where am I batting in tonight's lineup?" asks Kemp.
"Actually, Matty, I'm glad you are here early, before the rest of the team shows up," replies Torre. "You see, I've got some news to break to you."
"All right! Finally, I'm batting cleanup, instead of The 40-Year-Old Aversion! It's about time that you decided to replace that creaky old guy. Thanks, coach!"
"No, you're not batting fourth, Matt. I've got Russell slotted there, since he leads the team in batting average with a .294 (among active players who aren't pitchers)."
"Well, I've got to be third, then, right coach?"
"No, I've opted to put Andre Ethier there, given his team-leading 11 home runs and all."
"Okay, so you must have be back in leadoff, right? That makes sense, since I've got speed and power, you know."
"Actually, Matt, I've got Luis Maza there in the one-hole. I know it sounds crazy given his .228 average that he would slot leadoff, let alone any starting position, but I think this one makes sense."
"Maza? Hey, I'm about to go nuts here coach. At least tell me that the Tubbster Andruw Jones isn't still starting."
"Jones has the fifth slot in the lineup, Matt, and as you know I'm not letting Andruw give up his starting position despite the fact that he's horrible, he just had a five-strikeout day almost a week after a four-strikeout day, he's horrible, his batting average is a meager .164, and he's horrible. Oh, and he's horrible. But on this one, Ned Colletti totally agrees with me; Jones stays."
"That makes no sense. Don't you read the Dodger blogs? Jones continuing to have a starting role is suicide. You gotta get me in, coach."
"Why don't you take a seat, Matt, as this part is a tough thing to tell you. The fact is, I'm going with an unconventional lineup tonight. You already know four of the slots. But I'm shaking it all up and, along with Chan Ho Park, who is starting, I'm also batting Eric Stults in the starting lineup. And we've called up Scott Van Slyke from the Great Lakes Loons (A), and Jake New from the Gulf Coast League Dodgers (R), to slot them in as starters as well. I know it's a little strange, but I think I'm on to something here so I'm going to go with my gut on this one."
"I have to say, I don't get it coach. But I'm a team player so I'm willing to go with you. Just tell me what role to play, starting or not, and I'm there."
"Well, Matt, here's where the bad news comes. There just wasn't anyone in the organization--and I'm talking, the entire organization--who had what I was looking for to fill that last spot. So you've been traded straight up to the Florida Marlins. In exchange, we just picked up..."
For whom was Matt Kemp traded, and what slot will this new Dodger occupy in crazy Joe's new lineup?
HINT #1 (12.48p PT): Torre's ordering methodology for the nine spots has nothing to do with the offensive statistics of the players (just like in real life, I might add).
HINT #2 (1.20p PT): First step is to get the players' names aligned.
HINT #3 (2:00p PT): Torre used the All-Star break to visit with some advisers, some of whom also used to advise Nancy Reagan.
HINT #4 (2.33p PT): Technically speaking, whether Park deserved a spot was up for debate.
HINT #5 (3.00p PT): Kemp was keenly aware of the gravity of the situation, however he resisted his urge to drop his trousers and show his bare behind to Torre.
HINT #6 / FINAL HINT (5.04p PT): Torre bats Van Slyke second.
Rules: Once again, please feel free to post comments in the thread, but if you think you have the solution, please don't give away the answer to everyone in the comments section. Instead, do the following:
- email us the answer to the question your solution explanation (person and lineup slot); and
- Post a comment simply saying you have emailed your solution attempt. Due to firewall issues, I may not be able to reply to your original email promptly, so please do be patient and check back on the comment thread for the latest news; I will confirm correct answers there.
Solution will post at midnight tonight. Good luck!