This week’s quiz was actually decided upon before the latest glob of brown stuff hit the whirling blades over the Sox’ managerial hiring, so it is fortuitous that it has timeliness, given it’s from nine years ago, but more or less timely it is.
First, though, the answer to last week’s Cryptosoxery, said by one of the newcomers to the team. Or possible newcomer, as the case may be:
It’s tough to go to war when you don’t have all your weapons. — Jonathan Lucroy
Lucroy probably wasn’t talking about his former All-Star self, now reduced tremendously due to surgery on just about every available body part, but he kind of fits into it now as part of an area — backup catcher — where the Sox are taking a butter knife to the battlefront. Or, if Lucroy is too injured to play decently, any weapons at all, except you-know-who.
Now, for this week’s quote, written by Hall-of-Famer baseball writer person Hal McCoy, with whom I had the privilege of sharing ink and newsprint when I was a columnist for the Dayton Daily News during part of his record-setting career as beat reporter for the Reds.
Hal was not only a terrific baseball analyst and writer, who continued on the beat through long years going blind from strokes behind his eyes, but he’s an incredibly nice man. He is so nice, that when he one day walked into the Reds locker room and could see nothing but a blur, then-third baseman Aaron Boone came over, took Hal’s hand, sat him down, and told him not to worry, because the players would have his back. And they did, for as many years as he continued on the beat.
I mention the niceness because of the quote I wandered across while using the search term “Hal McCoy humor” for a podcast drop-in. The search led to a 2012 Q&A from reader mail, where one question had to do with humor, but another asked Hal whom he would rather have as a manager — Dusty Baker or Tony La Russa.
Hal began by noting managers are only as good as their players, but then said (encryption thanks to wordles.com):
ZVTFO FBHQJ CQJFOC, V’JJ CQGF PQGFL PFSQHEF YF VEO’C SIOECQOCJA CLAVOZ CI
LF-VOTFOC CYF ZQWF QOU YF UIFEO’C ZFC VOCI EVJJA WHU-EJVOZVOZ XVCY QOICYFL
CFQW’E PLIQUSQECFL. QOU YF VEO’C SIOUFESFOUVOZ CI CYF WFUVQ.
For newcomers to cryptoquotes, they are simple letter substitutions, the same substitution throughout — an R may really be an H, a K a Q and so on. You solve the puzzle by looking for the most common letters — E and then the Wheel of Fortune favorites, and then looking for handy patterns. The contractions in this week’s Cryptosoxery should help, and the fact it’s fairly long should provide plenty of opportunity for statistical analysis.
The answer and a new quiz next week.