## Tuesday, April 14, 2009

### Off-Day Puzzle #1: Leading Off...

Lo and behold, the new puzzle season has begun! And beginnings are critical. Sentences begin with capital letters, albums begin with hit songs, and the first in a movie trilogy is always the best. This, however, is something we don't always seem to realize.

You're probably like me in that you remember the ninth inning home runs and forget the second inning ones. Each run scored is worth the same, though, isn’t it? And one might even argue that runs scored in the early innings are often more significant because the game is less likely decided at that point. Regardless of such logic, most people, including myself, continue to put a disproportionate amount of focus on the end.

However, I urge you to remember one thing. Each inning carries equal weight.

Leadoff hitting is what you should focus on. Each inning’s leadoff hitter is the most important, whether the first or the ninth inning. Don’t ask me to quote the source, but a team is something like 3 times more likely to score in any inning if they get the leadoff man on than if they don’t.

Take a second to think about that. Early, middle, or late innings, it’s the first guy up that really matters. After the leadoff guy, the difference the following folks make is significantly diminished. Maybe that means we can ignore everything past the leadoff hitter?

I’ll leave it at that, as I know there’s a puzzle to get to. Now, with no further ado, here’s the part we’ve been waiting for:

Read the following poem:

Blast this damn Haiku!
I’ve read it now countless times.
Still, I find nothing.

______________________________________________________

Hint (11:07am PT): The opening text is relevant for more than one reason.
______________________________________________________

Puzzle Rules: The answer to the puzzle is a Dodger. Comment freely in the thread, but if you have the solution, please don't give it away to everyone in the comments section. Instead, do the following:

• Email us with the first and last name of the Dodger player who is the answer, along with your reasoning (answers arrived at via luck or the wrong reasoning, even if correct, count for participation credit only). And please include your screen name somewhere in the email; and
• Post a comment simply saying you have emailed your solution attempt. I may not be able to reply to your original email promptly, so please be patient and check back on the comment thread for the latest news; I may confirm correct answers there.

You have until midnight PT tonight to submit your answer. Good luck!

Answer is sent in. Woohoo!

Wicks said...

A current Dodger?

Loney Fan said...

I wish I got up as early as Quad! Answer is in.

I planned ahead for this one Loney Fan.

Loney Fan said...

I see that I am going to have to step up my game for the next puzzle.

Fo sho!

Eric Karros said...

Quad, Loney Fan, you guys are quick. Well done, I see you've been honing your puzzle skills over the off season.

Wicks, it is indeed a current Dodger.

karina said...

Answer sent in. Quad and Loney fan, i already know i don't have any chance with you guys playing!

Loney Fan said...

I've been getting up every morning at sunrise, drinking two raw eggs, then running 10 miles to the community center to take on seniors at whatever puzzle they have that day.

http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/929458/

The rivalry has been renewed again.

Wicks said...

I've got nothing......I have had many ideas but none of them work. I am way overthinking!

Eric Karros said...

Checked your email Karina, sorry though, not correct...

Quad, a mid-comment-thread avatar switch? Now you're just getting cocky.

Mike Scioscia's tragic illness said...

DONE.

Eric Karros said...

Last season's puzzlers will remember my common refrain, which holds true here: If you have the correct answer, you will know it is correct. If you're not sure if you have the correct answer or not, then you don't have it.

Wicks said...

Eric Karros said...

MSTI yup, Wicks nope...

Andrew said...

Wicks said...

I'm having an off day, you know kinda like RJ had yesterday.....hahaha.

karina said...

Another shot in the mail!( i also didn't have to go to the office, i'm working at home, lucky me!)

J. Steve said...

Just sent my answer in!

Eric Karros said...

Good job Andrew, keep at it Karina. So far 4 correct answers, in order:

Loney Fan
MSTI
Andrew

fanerman said...

19 comments already? I just woke up!

I wanted to change to this picture a while ago. Needed the Dodgers logo in my profile pic.

berkowit28 said...

Answer in. I see I'm late to the party at 8:30.

Great to see the puzzles back. Starting nice and easy, get everyone involved. Don't be fooled, folks! They'll get a lot harder very soon...

karina said...

3rd and (i hope) answer. If it is, i can't believe i couldn't see it before.

Steve Sax said...

Quadsevens, please tell me that you are not using a plastic Dodgers Levy Restaurant cup in your household. If you're actually saving these for future usage, please let me know; I can save four to five of these for you each game!

Eric Karros said...

Berko, well done.

J Steve, Karina, keep trying...

Fanerman, there is no sleeping in on puzzle day.

J. Steve said...

Apparently I'm missing something veeery obvious!

berkowit28 said...

J Steve, I guess it's only easy if you're an oldtimer who has got to know the inner workings of Eric Karros' mind. It's his style of puzzle that last year's denizens have come to know well. If you don't figure it out this time, you'll see when he explains the answer tomorrow how his devious mind works, and it will help in future puzzles.

J. Steve said...

I was here all of last year and I still have no idea...

This year I decided to add the J to my name in honor of my mother. It's the first letter of her first name.

Eric Karros said...

Am I really that easy to read and figure out? I guess this puzzle does have some similarities to a few from last year. But to your point Berko, it's good we have Sax creating puzzles too, his mind works quite differently.

Sax, I just saved the two cups I had when I went to a preseason game this year. Makes me feel like I'm drinking a \$12 beer when I watch the Dodgers at home. I don't plan on saving anymore of them, but thanks anyways.

Neeebs said...

This is why I dig the Q7.

Lest I bore those with my repeated mantra, I SUCK AT THESE PUZZLES.

Gil Gamesh said...

Wicks said...

Don't worry Neebs! I'm with ya.....

Eric Karros said...

Neeebs, Gil, sorry both are incorrect. But Gil your answer is closer than Neeebs'.

Eric Karros said...

Since you can't see each others answers I guess that doesn't help too much.

Also Neeebs, you have to submit a reasoning. Without that, even if you have the right answer, it counts for participation credit only.

fanerman said...

Answer sent. Man I'm rusty.

Neeebs said...

Damn, I was going to submit 25 guesses, in random order, until I "figured" it out.

Plan B=work harder

Plan C=give up.

BTW, I just received my brand new Raul Mondesi Glove, courtesy of SOSG. Nice, but it's a little snug.

I just sent you guys a picture of the glove in hand.

Eric Karros said...

Good job Fanerman. Correct answers so far:

Loney Fan
MSTI
Andrew
Berkowit28
Fanerman

Eric Karros said...

karina said...

Another try....

Berko, i don't know how you do it, but i still can't understand EK's mind...

Damon said...

I'm bad at these games but I sent in my answer anyway

Damon said...

Eric Karros said...

Damon, you are correct...that you are bad at these games. At least this one. Unfortunately your answer is incorrect.

And keep trying Karina!

karina said...

i'm lost! i'll try once just when i get back from my meeting.

I reaaaally suck at this.

Natalie said...

Yea! I got it! I sent in my answer.

Brandon said...

Solved.

Eric Karros said...

Good job, Bratalie!

Neeebs said...

Damon, Karina and I are going to develop our own puzzle for the puzzle challenged commenters.

Damn you Q7, and you too LF.

Dusto Magnifico said...

I'm just really bad at these!

Steve Sax said...

No playa hating here Neeebs! Why not take some time to stop and smell the glove?

Neeebs said...

Ah, Smell the Glove. The censored "Black" Album.

Love that movie.

Eric Karros said...

Oh, I forgot to mention for the new puzzlers - deadline is midnight tonight. I updated to the post to say so.

Neeebs, I'll agree that Quad solving the puzzle in 4 minutes was ridiculous.

J. Steve said...

FINALLY! I just sent in my answer...

Not to brag or anything, but I think I had it solved in less than 4 minutes. Took me a while to open up my email and write out my answer. =)

Eric Karros said...

One more correct answer. Well done J Steve.

Eric Karros said...

I wonder what happened to Jose? Quad, this could be your chance to make a move...

Wicks said...

My puzzle challenged brain needs another hint. I have a feeling I'll want to punch myself when I see the answer.

J. Steve said...

Wicks: Berko was right... this is right out of the EK playbook. I should have seen it earlier!

Eric Karros said...

Wicks, as tempted as I am, I can't give another hint. Too many folks have gotten it already -

Ubragg said...

Mr. Customer said...

Better late than never!

jose said...

I'm here, Eric - just isn't my day today I guess....

Eric Karros said...

Welcome to puzzleland, Ubragg. Well done.

And as they say, Mr. Customer is always right. Glad to see you're back.

Ah, defending champ Jose is here. You still have a few hours before deadline...

Anyways I'm going to sleep now all, thanks for playing. I'll check emails in the morning -

DanGarion said...

I guess, I'll send something in, although it makes no sense...

Eric Karros said...

Sorry Dan incorrect. Ok, this time I'm really going to sleep now.