Dropping The Ball

May 31, 1997

RAY: All right look. Here it is. Here's the new puzzler. And because we are in the throes (no pun intended) of the baseball season -- throws -- throws -- when you have to explain it...

TOM: I didn't get it.

RAY: When you have to -- never mind.

TOM: Mostly because I wasn't paying attention if you want the truth.

RAY: Well how do you ever hope to remember this next week if you don't pay attention?

TOM: Don't you wish you knew.

RAY: The baseball season is now in full swing, so to speak. Full swing -- baseball season's in full....

TOM: Full swing! He said full swing! I got it, I got it!

RAY: All right. I'm going to set the stage.

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: Its the ninth inning.


RAY: Batter at the plate. The pitcher throws the ball. There's a long fly ball hit to the right field corner.

TOM: Yeah. That's good.

RAY: The outfielder runs to the proper position, gets positioned to catch the ball, and in fact, he catches it but at the last second, he drops it -- on purpose. Why does he do this? If you think you know the answer send it to us at -- and I gave you all the information that you need I believe....

TOM: You always do.

RAY: Except for a few pieces I may have left out. Which you will be able to deduce.

TOM: Of course. Yeah.


RAY: I didn't give you the whole scene obviously. I had to leave out some important pieces of information. Had I given you all the information...

TOM: It would not be a puzzler.

RAY: It would be too easy. There was a runner on third base.

TOM: Right.

BOTH: There was one out.

RAY: The fly ball that's hit to the outfield is in fact deep, but it is also a foul ball. He makes the catch in foul territory and realizing that the guy on third base could tag up and score the winning run -- because the score was tied...

TOM: And you left that out too.

RAY: I left that out. I had to leave it out. I had to! I had to, Jerry! And if the score's -- and if he catches the ball the guy's going to tag up from third -- even though it's a foul ball -- you can tag up on a foul ball.

TOM: I didn't know that actually.

RAY: Well that's why you didn't get the right answer.

TOM: But I asked you the right question.

RAY: What was that?

TOM: I said "can you tag up on a foul ball?"

RAY: Oh.

TOM: And then I said Oh.

RAY: And of course he realizes that he has to take his chances and drop the ball hoping that the pitcher will get like a strikeout or some such thing and that's why he drops the ball. Because the umpire runs out and rules it a catch -- the guy scores and then the game's over. Who's our winner?

TOM: The winner is -- oh interesting name. Jay Hipps from Vallejo -- is that how you pronounce that?

RAY: I think Vallejo.

TOM: Vallejo, California.

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