Thursday, July 17, 2008

Off-Day Puzzle #6: Torre's Wacky Lineups

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?

HINTS:

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!

46 comments:

Eric Karros said...

Ah, now I am on the other side of the table. I will try to take a crack at it when I get a chance.

Steve Sax said...

See you on the other side, EK!

QuadSevens said...

The emails for answers are going to sound like the game Clue.

"It was Col. Mustard, from the Marlins, with the rope, in the 9 slot."

QuadSevens said...

Anybody else struggling with this one? I'm gonna get some lunch and see if that helps the blood flow a little better to my brain.

Loney Fan said...

Yeah, I think I have filled up three pages of random ideas and still nothing. Lunch break from this one sounds good.

Dusto Magnifico said...

I dont have a clue... but I need one... just something to get me on the right track.

Is it baseball related? Is it a word problem?... I'm just lost.

fanerman said...

I also would not mind a clue..

Steve Sax said...

Two hints posted.

karina said...

one question: is it possible the player is on the all-time Marlins roster or current 25/40 man roster?

Steve Sax said...

Karina: The Marlins player is on their current 25-man roster.

Steve said...

I think I got it... and Nancy Reagan helped!

QuadSevens said...

My head is starting to hurt, but I have emailed my solution to you.

cigarcow said...

omg, are you kidding? I have to know the entire Marlins roster now?

Steve Sax said...

Steve, you nailed it. Congratulations, and I'm glad hint #3 helped.

Quad7s, you're halfway there; right player, wrong slot (methodology is not correct).

cigarcow, you just need to know one guy!

Steve Sax said...

EK, you are the second one to get it correct. Nice.

Eric Karros said...

The Nancy Reagan clue initially got me off-track but ultimately led me to the answer.

QuadSevens said...

Changed my methodology and sent in a revised guess.

fanerman said...

I just submitted an answer. I hope it's right!

Steve Sax said...

Fanerman slots in at third place. Well done.

Q7, I may have misled you with hint 3; you still need a different approach rather than the methodology you're using. I'll post hint 5 in the next 20 minutes, which combined with hint 3 may be revealing.

cigarcow said...

Now there are two left fielders. Aarrrggghhh I can't get it. The internet isn't supposed to make me feel stupid. It's for Miley Cyrus cell phone pics and unsolicited viagra emails.

Steve Sax said...

cigarcow: on-field positions are not relevant, just the player's names.

cigarcow said...

I give up. I want Dan Uggla, that's all I know, so I'm going with him. (I can't even follow directions correctly.)

Loney Fan said...

I have a feeling this is way easier than I have made it out to be in my mind.

QuadSevens said...

New methodology guess emailed.

Loney Fan said...

FINALLY - answer submitted

Steve Sax said...

Added to hint #5, which should do it for the hints. Good luck!

Steve Sax said...

Loney Fan, you're in at fourth place. Bravo!

Loney Fan said...

Thank you, but there is some shame in fourth place.

Steve Sax said...

Q7, your last answer was right despite the methodology being off, so I'm giving you credit and fifth place. Whoo hoo!

Steve Sax said...

loney fan, there wasn't much shame last year for the fourth-place Dodgers!

Eric Karros said...

Hey, with all due respect to quad's inarguable puzzle-prowess, in earlier puzzles I did not give credit to those who got the right answer for the wrong reasons. So to be fair, I can't give quad credit for stumbling into the right answer this time.

Sorry quad, but it's not like you're hurting for PCS Tour Points...

Orel said...

I'm stumped so far. Nancy Reagan?

Steve Sax said...

Orel, it is not Nancy Reagan. Check the references in hint 5!

karina said...

PT Midnight or ET Midnight?

Orel said...

Okay, I've taken my pants off, but I'm not any closer to solving the puzzle.

QuadSevens said...

No problem on the scoring EK. Fair is fair.

This puzzle is going to haunt me tonight. I'm sure I'm going to kick myself when I see the solution at midnight.

karina said...

Emailed my answer.

Jose said...

Just sent mine.

Steve Sax said...

Karina, pls check your email...

Jose, good job. You're in!

Steve Sax said...

Also, karina, puzzle solutions must be in by midnight PT (you have three more hours from now)

Steve Sax said...

Orel, keep it in the pants.

QuadSevens said...

Another guess submitted. I refuse to give up. =)

Steve Sax said...

Q7, I love your never-say-die effort; please check your email.

karina said...

I have emailed you twice in the last 10 minutes...

Steve Sax said...

karina, I just replied

Q7 and Karina, I think I have to call it a night as I'm about to pass out. Best of luck--the solution will automatically publish in 40 minutes...

karina said...

Night...