The answer to yesterday's Countdown Puzzle is Orlando Hudson.
The first step is to figure out that each line of the poem refers to another line. For example, the 3nd line of the poem states that the 7th line is in past tense; the 6th line mentions how the 4th line is the longest, while the 4th line refers to the 6th line mentioning the 4th line, and so on.
In most cases, each line also mentions how the other line is useless. Except the 1st line, which states "look for the signs within number nine." But the poem has only eight lines?...
The ninth line is where you'd expect it to be - below the eighth line. It's the line of dashes separating the poem from the puzzle rules, written in Morse code (short dash = dot). If parsed correctly - for which hint #1 was required lest someone try endless combinations - it reads "leads the team in runs scored." This is Orlando Hudson.
Congratulations to UBragg, Jose, Fred's Brim, Fanerman, J Steve, LL Cool L, Berkowit28, Mr Customer, and BWrightson.
Updated rankings coming soon, and next puzzle Thursday, July 2, 7am!