This week, for the first time, our CryptoSoxery challenge is a quote not about the White Sox, but by a former Sox player, birthday boy Tommy John. A separate article today talks about why John, who turns 77 today, should be in the Hall of Fame. This one shows he's not just a pretty elbow, but a pretty good guy as well.
But first, the answer to CryptoSoxery No. 3, taken from a Robert Creamer article in Sports Illustrated in 1957, not long after Al Lopez had come to the Sox from the Indians, where he had the greatest pitching staff of all time (at least up until then, probably until now) and a bunch of bashers:
At Chicago Lopez found himself with a thin pitching staff (except for Billy Pierce, the best in the league) and a distinct lack of power hitters. To compensate, Lopez worked toward developing a team of superior fielders and race-horse base runners.
Creamer went on to say that the terrific defense and small-ball speedster offense made the Sox a really fun team to watch (not to mention a team that never would never have a losing season under Lopez). The article should be posted in the commissioner's office and every front office in the game, so maybe they'll take some of the juice out of the ball and reverse the trend toward the terminal boredom of 10 strikeouts followed by a solo homer. But I digress.
For this week's CryptoSoxery, we move forward a couple of decades, to the world's most famous elbow.
GWPJ SWPA DQPMYSPI, K SDBI SWPH SD QNS KJ Y XDNOYE OYTSLYBB.
SWPA IKI - LNS KS GYT HMT. XDNOYE'T.
As usual, using the handy template from the good folks at wordles.com, a simple substitution cipher has been created, where a letter in the cipher represents some other letter, the same one throughout. To solve the puzzle, you need to look at frequency of letters, "e" generally being the most common, as well as pattern hints — a letter after an apostrophe is apt to be an "s" or a "t", a solo letter is probably an "a" or an "I," etc.
This CryptoSoxery is pretty short, which makes it more difficult — small sample size and all that — so I'll break down and tell you that a T above will always be an S.
It's a fun quote, and you don't have much else to do these days anyway, so give it a shot. The answer comes to you right here, next week.