“*Sniff* *Sniff*…I smell a rat.”
— Jack Nicholson “The Departed”
Firstly reader, I would like to address my brief hiatus from giving you your bi-monthly dose of bat info. I admit I went slightly off the rails, but as you can tell from our last communication, the weight of this mystery has been weighing on me. We all have moments where we buckle under the pressure and this column was my outlet. Thank you for allowing me the space to do so: my head is screwed on straight, and no, I did not bring back the bats in my absence.
However, my frustrations at the brick wall I’ve come up against in this investigation were not for nothing. My relentless hammering away has caused a leak.
I received a coded letter not too long ago. The writers of it remained anonymous. As you can see from this photo of the message, the point was kept simple:
Just kidding, that’s not the letter. The real letter was written in a foolishly simple code. It was so rudimentary an experienced code-maker wouldn’t even sneeze on this code. But let me not judge these faceless individuals for their naivety to the skill of the team I have assembled for this task. Although we don’t have confirmed names, we have reason to believe that this letter was written by someone on the inside. The author does not sound like a pariah, as they would tread less carefully. No, this person, or persons, has reason for their cowardice.
I’ll share with you the translation we’ve uncovered, with the pertinent details removed of course, and show you the evidence behind my thinking.
“Dear Who Did the Bats,
Given our reluctance to reveal our identity, it would be hard for us to ensure you of our good intentions. If you read this message closely however you will understand both the extent of our knowledge and our desire to ensure it does not fall into the wrong leather gloves hands before the statute of limitation expires. Before you dismiss this message as a red herring with no valuable information we urge a close reading. But if after close investigation you still doubt our competence and good intentions, please email location and time to [ redacted ] and we can arrange an in person meeting with appropriate arrangements or simply tweet said location and time via Swarthmore Twitter (preferably with emojis)
[ redacted ]
Ps [ redacted ]”
Call it a mole, call it a rat, call it an insider scoop. My theory? First of all, the culprits left this note inside a puzzle in Cornell. The location alone emits an air of someone who spends ample time in the very library that inspired the construction of NPPR. I smell athlete. Why else would the culprits emphasize concealing their identities until “the statute of limitation expires” ? Is the expiration date an allusion to graduation or the completion of their athletic responsibilities? How tightly bound are the ties of one DIII athlete to another? Does their fear of baseball wrath stem from admittance of a personal betrayal or simply because they fear retaliation when rubbing elbows in the Matchbox?
Time is dwindling, and it seems these culprits believe me to be one step behind. But what is a journalist without an ear on the ground? And what kind of delinquent keeps evidence of their deed hidden behind a poster?
Make no mistake, the rat race is almost won.