Special Event: Blaseball Season 10
October 12, 2020 9:17 AM - Subscribe

Blaseball hits double digits, as season 10 kicks off! Strange weather, five bases for most teams, and a lot of weird Peanut God hijinks coming off last season including a team of undead thralls! Come on in and try to sort it all out.

Due to an administrative hiccup, there was no Season 9 thread, which is a shame because boy was it a season. Among other things, my beloved Charleston Shoe Thieves won the championship in dramatic last-inning style, and then immediately faced off against The Shelled One's Pods in what can only be described as a lopsided and fatefully rigged JRPG boss fight, and the entire team is now cursed.

The Season 8 thread feels like it's from a different decade, but there it is.
posted by cortex (28 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I need to go get some breakfast but mayhap other folks can fill in some of the "what happened last week" stuff.
posted by cortex at 9:18 AM on October 12, 2020

splorts happened
posted by flatluigi at 9:21 AM on October 12, 2020

I'm so confused. I love it.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:21 AM on October 12, 2020

I was vaguely expecting some sort of boss battle/"the shelled ones rise up", but I wasn't expecting that to be as Final Fantasy JRPG fight as it was, and it was fantastic to catch live.
No-commentary video, boss-battle is ~24 minutes in
Commentary-added video
posted by CrystalDave at 9:26 AM on October 12, 2020 [2 favorites]

I happened to be awake for it (too much caffeine) and it was so much fun. All of blaseball internet was going nuts. The worst part was tweeting back and forth with dear friends on the other side of the country instead of yelling, drunk, on the couch with them.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:28 AM on October 12, 2020 [1 favorite]

Also, Sexton Wheerer of the Unlimited Tacos is currently at the top of the idol board because he's now the only pitcher on the Tacos. Not, like Pitching Machine in a previous season, the only unshelled pitcher: literally the only pitcher on their team because the rest were stolen (along with all other shelled players in the league, I guess?) to make up The Shelled One's Pods.

So if you want your easy idle Idol income, Sexton's your guy. He's a middling pitcher but he's pitching every single game.

The Tacos also had a couple of shelled batters, I guess, so they're down to only seven people in their lineup along with Sexton as their entire "rotation". Skeleton crew team, but their batting stars are all pretty good so that may actually pay off well.
posted by cortex at 11:45 AM on October 12, 2020

I'm just happy that Mike Townsend's back
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:55 AM on October 13, 2020 [2 favorites]

I don't know if I want to know the horrible truth but what happened to Jessica Telephone?
posted by cmfletcher at 7:32 AM on October 13, 2020

I kinda checked out for last week, which was maybe a mistake. Anyways, it seems like the Moist Talkers finally got a bunch of boons, and are currently on top of the Mild High (heh; not what I was on Saturday night) division.

posted by nubs at 9:11 AM on October 13, 2020

Jessica Telephone, being Shelled, hit the game-winning run in the PODS vs the Shoe Thieves, and is therefore either a tragic villain or possibly an unrepentant villain depending on which characterization you prefer.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:16 AM on October 13, 2020 [3 favorites]

I sort of casually follow Blaseball - I'm mostly in it for the peanuts - so these developments are startling and I LOVE IT.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 11:51 AM on October 13, 2020

Shoe Thieves just lost to the Pies 8-6...in the bottom of the 19th, after more than an hour of game time, causing a spillover and delaying day 28 by an hour for everyone else in the league. That was a hell of a nailbiter. We lost the game, but we stole TIME.

Because we got cursed after our fight with god, all the Shoe Thieves batters have Flinch, which says that a batter can't bat until a strike has been thrown. This is bad, obviously! But less obviously, maybe it's not all bad? Because that means we also can't swing at any balls thrown before a strike is thrown. And so we can't convert a ball into a strike by swinging and missing or foul-tipping.

As a result, we're getting a lot more walks than we would normally. Like, the top ten list of walks leaders in the league is basically our batting line up plus a couple cameos from other teams in the lower half.

Whether those balls that might have been strikes or outs are actually doing more good for us than the guaranteed first strike is doing bad, I don't know how to calculate. But we're 17-10 so far for the season, which is a lot better than anyone expected what with the curse situation.

The other implication I think of the Flinch curse is that our plate appearances are probably longer than league average: there will always be at least two pitches thrown to each batter. No hits or outs on the first pitch. And that may have contributed a little to length in clock time of the game just now; we went about 64 minutes total, and it's possible that if each of those 19 innings was a hair shorter it wouldn't have quite cracked 60. I need to do some napkin math there.
posted by cortex at 12:12 PM on October 13, 2020

Like, making a lot of incorrect assumptions just to ballpark (ha) some figures:

There were 19 innings, and at least 3 plate appearances by the Shoe Thieves each inning. So that's at least 57 occasions on which 2 or more pitches were thrown, if it was a no-hitter. This wasn't, so it's got to more than that because we scored points; even if all six points we scored were solo homers, that'd raise the number of plate appearances to 63. It's more than that because we definitely got folks on base both for scoring innings and stranded basemen. Call it 75 total plate appearances, which I'm guessing is low but I'd rather be conservative.

A game tick is about five seconds it seems like; an extra pitch at each appearance would thus be 75 * 5 = 375 seconds, or six and a quarter minutes. If that was good enough, then, yep, this was for sure spillover because of Flinch. But!

But Flinch doesn't necessarily mean every plate appearance has an extra pitch. It just means no plate appearance has only 1 pitch. In practice, most plate appearances don't have just one pitch, so this would only strictly increase those that would have been a single pitch. Which we can't really tell because its counterfactual, but it could be worth looking at comparable stats for last season's batting and figuring out how many plate appearances did end with one pitch and adding a pitch at that proportion. I don't have a good way of calculating that, kind of a SIBR question.

If it turned out that, say, 20% of Shoe Thieves appearances ended after a single pitch, we could say 20% of 375 extra seconds is 75 seconds, or a minute and a quarter. That wouldn't have been enough added time to make a difference for spillover, we'd still have gone like 62 or 63 minutes anyway. But also!

But also, that is itself a conservative read. Because we can't assume that plate appearances with 2+ pitches thrown were unaffected by flinch. Yes, sometimes that first pitch is a strike helplessly looking, which is no better than a strike swinging or judiciously looking. But it's better than a fly or ground out. But sometimes that first ignored pitch is a ball, which doesn't hasten an out for the batter at all; it's just a free 1-0 count. So the batter's plate appearance improves a bit in average length; the only thing that a free ball up front doesn't help with is a four-ball walk; it'd lengthen the time to any other batting outcome.

Which, that's back into messy SIBR territory that I don't really dare plumb. But it feels like it would push the added-time-from-Flinch meter back up a bit. And the fact that decidedly conservative estimates put us in spillover time anyway, and decidedly enthusiastic ones put us in "Flinch caused spillover" territory, that gooey Goldilocks zone of did it or didn't it with a more complicated analysis is really tempting stuff.
posted by cortex at 12:29 PM on October 13, 2020

As an Unlimited Tacos fan, I am both shocked and appalled that we're doing well in Wild Low. Also, as someone who idolized Pitching Machine and now Sexton Wheerer (go Tacos), I have no idea what to do with all these coins.
posted by Anonymous Function at 2:19 PM on October 13, 2020

Jessica Telephone, being Shelled, hit the game-winning run in the PODS vs the Shoe Thieves, and is therefore either a tragic villain or possibly an unrepentant villain

Here is some great fan art of POD Jessica Telephone which leans more towards the "unrepentant villian" take.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:39 PM on October 13, 2020

I also idolize Sexton Wheerer because I like coins and having thousands of votes to throw away.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:28 PM on October 13, 2020

It's been kind of an uneventful season in game-shaking developments! A lot of little things happening but no big shakeups. Closing out the regular season in a few hours, most of the playoff spots are clinched (and my Shoe Thieves, Peanut God curses and all, are solidly in the post season), and after game 99 is over we'll see who ends up being the 4th seed in each league and who the wildcard teams will be who will get their last-ditch shot at beating out those league 4ths for a chance at the title.

Targeted shame affecting most of the league has meant a lot of game starting from negative scores and some of them ending with them, which has been fun. I haven't verified but someone said that Gunther O'Brian threw a shutout overnight that didn't get counted as a shutout because of shame-related score hijinks, which is kind of perfect.

What there has been this season is a lot of blooddrain gurgling, which premiered in a previous season but has been way up this time: one player drinking the blood of another to suck away some of that player's stats. The drinking player can either absorb those stats themself, become a bit stronger in one stat or another, or can convert the power of that blood into a one time favorable outcome (batter turning a strike into a ball, defender turning an at-bat into an out, etc), which makes that drained player stat power disappear into the void. That latter case is an interesting twist because it means blooddrain is no longer zero-sum: the league overall can now lose stats into the ether, which is an interesting element of stat deflation in the same vein as peanut allergies.

One player for whom blooddrain has been doing a lot of good: Shoe Thieves batter Richardson Games, who has managed to drain his way up to a league-record eight stars in defensive ability. Between that and his excellent grappling-hook-assisted blaserunning, he's been having a standout season and is probably a big part of why the Shoes have had such a good season counter to expectations.
posted by cortex at 7:50 AM on October 16, 2020

I am really interested in how the plan will work this season - Rise in Violence. As usual, it seems like a lot of extrapolation with very little data, but it does seem like the Null Team is a natural foil to the PODS and hey, I have very few better ideas.
posted by restless_nomad at 8:03 AM on October 16, 2020

So it looks like Jaylen finally returned to the void.

Did we ever find out what Squiddish does?
posted by curious nu at 1:29 PM on October 16, 2020

So *that* was a hell of a season finale.
In short: Crabs won, but got one-shot by the Peanut God. (also while they fought the Shoe Thieves they accumulated enough runs to collapse the sun into a black hole, swallowing the moon into its growing maw, as well as one of the Shoe Thieves' wins and all their runs. Sun 2 rose, so this is a minor detail in things)
The Microphone cut a desperate deal with the Hall Monitor causing the spirits of the Hall of Flame to rise up as an opposing team.
Because Tillman Henderson dodged the Hall of Flame by swapping for Jaylen, Jaylen was the sole pitcher's soul.
The peanut-tributes we offered were converted into Team Spirit/HP, so all of Blaseball went spirit-bomb on the Peanut.
Jaylen was turbo-flickering, swapping for the Pods pitcher, Axel Trololol frequently. Jaylen had enough strength to resist the Peanut's influence partially and sabotaged the Peanut whenever she was on the Pods.
Landry Violence was targeted for incineration again, but Landry consumed the flame and became a being of magma and homerun-scoring power.

We held the Peanut's attention long enough for the Squid to arrive and eat the Peanut. Now the Squid's boss is coming and we've been introduced to the major leagues, presumably upcoming. The Hall of Flame team's souls are at rest, having finally found an escape from the eternal game.

The Crabs ascend tomorrow morning.
posted by CrystalDave at 7:01 PM on October 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

It seems that Jaylen ended on the Pods. There's a plan to try to rescue the Pods players - we'll see how well it works.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 7:20 PM on October 17, 2020

The Pods appear to have been rescued, and the New Management has introduced herself. Details are a bit sparse as the site promptly crashed and the application of election results to teams has not gone smoothly.
posted by wotsac at 1:08 PM on October 18, 2020

Ah, crud... Maybe I missed the chance to buy votes then... My laziness will reward the masses, I suppose.
posted by kaibutsu at 2:14 PM on October 18, 2020

Oh, apparently eat the rich happens at the start of the season, not election time. Well, now I have lots of votes for next week.

Fun election outcomes... The Garages picked up pitching machine, while Mike townsend went back to the shadows. We have seven pitchers now. Seven. Two are total dead weight, but it looks pretty good on average...
posted by kaibutsu at 6:25 PM on October 18, 2020

Does anyone have a link to, or is willing to explain, the Boss thing? I missed it and then the site was down for a couple hours.
posted by restless_nomad at 6:13 AM on October 19, 2020

As I understand it, it's some kind of change in leadership? The twitter has gone from being the Commissioner to being the CEO - the league ownership is distinctly more capitalist now
posted by vibratory manner of working at 1:35 AM on October 21, 2020

Yeah, the very short sketch is:

1. Peanut God one-shotted the Crabs in the Final Fantasy battle after the Crabs won the championship.
2. Hall Monitor showed up with a Hall of Flame team and beat the Peanut God's team.
3. Hall Monitor ATE the Peanut God.
4. Hall Monitor said "Boss is here".
5. An ancient Roman coin showed up and talked (in yellow text) about how Blaseball is a mess and is unfair and she was going to change that.
6. Parker is now a CEO.
7. The sun exploded and we have Sun 2 and black hole weather.
8. Tarot blessings, book-mangling decrees.
9. Nobody has an idea really.
posted by cortex at 8:20 AM on October 21, 2020

Ok, gotcha, thank you. I missed the whole Roman-coin bit (other than the Twitter numismatics analysis) and wondered if I missed anything critical. (I am very much enjoying the Crabs' Twitter pivot to Maximum Capitalism.)
posted by restless_nomad at 8:27 AM on October 21, 2020

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