An interview with the Team’s Assistant Manager
EDITORS NOTE: This is a work of Blaseball lore that may not line up with established headcannons. Thank you for your understanding.
HELLMOUTH, Utah (BNN)– The sun reflects off façade of a crumbling office building outside the main district of Hellmouth. It’s been a long, hot season, and there’s only more heat to come. A small pink building shines like an oasis across the street.
A few burnt cars lie scattered across the four lane road, and I make my way around them. I know the closest Hellmouth isn’t for a few hundred meters, so I’m not worried about the road collapsing. I wait in the median as a few scooters weaving their way in between all the debris and cars cross in front of me. One rider honked and waved with his third arm.
A bright electronic OPEN sign flashes above a small caricature of a cat holding a cup of coffee. The bell dings as I make my way inside, and the smell immediately consumes me. It’s pungent and abrasive, but underneath it was something citrusy and floral. A 20-something walks out from behind the bead curtain in the back corner, their cat ears twitching slightly as they enter the lobby. “Welcome to the Randall Marijuana Memorial Cat Café, Assistant Manager Helsinki is right this way.”
I follow the young cat-person back to a private room where Hellmouth Sunbeams Assistant Manager Cassia Helsinki waits. They stand when I enter, a jovial smile filling her face. They hold out a catcher’s-mitt of a hand as they hunches their 7’6″ frame in the suddenly claustrophobic room. The sunlight filters in through a small tinted window pointing at an empty, untended courtyard garden and spills across the table. A beautiful pot of tea and a six pack of Sunn Light sit on it. “I wasn’t sure which you would prefer,” They say as we both sit down.
“Either works for me, thanks,” I reply.
“It’s nice to finally meet the Hellmouth’s resident reporter, I feel like we’ve been rescheduling this meeting for years now.”
“Only a few weeks, but that’s no worry. I wanted to meet up and have this ready by the time BNN announced me coming down, but it might end up being the best time, right now, I think.” I start flipping through a small notebook I carry with me, partly looking for stats, and partly because I am very nervous.
Crash Splortswatcher: The standings in the league seem to say Hellmouth is headed for their first playoff appearance here in Season 8, how does that feel?
Cassia Helsinki: How does it make me feel? I think we’ve been working very hard, training as much as possible, and this is all just a product of that hard work. In splorts, you get what you give. Over the seasons, our batting has gotten stronger and stronger, and our pitchers are some of the most ruthless in the league.
CSW: Has anyone in particular stood out to you this season?
CH: Well, I think it’s unfair to point out anyone in particular because it’s truly been a team effort, but I genuinely have to shout out our pitchers and our pitching staff. Zack, Eugenia, and Sandoval have been playing a different game. Sandoval is tied for highest strikeout percentage at almost 25%, Zack is 5th 23.2% this season. When they pitch, a quarter of the hitter strike out. If you look at walks and hits per inning pitched (WHIP), our blall club is killing it. Traditionally, the average WHIP in blaseball is around 1.3. Sandoval has a .861. Zach has a 1.05, Miguel a 1.036, Eugenia a 1.104. We’re striking out a quarter of our opponents, and only allowing a hit OR walk an inning. In blaseball, nobody has control until the ball is in play, and that’s up the pitcher. The defense starts with them, and there is nothing like having full confidence in that defense.
CSW: That’s a lot of statistics, is that how you see the game?
CH: Well, you have to be honest with yourself. I have always wanted to be the best, in whatever I do, and I want to put ourselves in a position where if the players also want to be the best, we can be the best. I provide the managers with as much data and information as I can, and hope we can work towards creating a winning game plan. A lot of things fall to the gods, but statistics can pull just as much from them as they can take from us.
CSW: I understand completely. Winning is a mindset, some great players have said.
CH: I agree.
CSW: Speaking of the gods, do you fear the peanut?
CH: We have Coach Sol, why would I fear a legume?
CSW: After what happened to Jaylen, and we are after all in the Randall Marijuana Memorial Cat Café, that’s genuinely what you believe?
CH: The gods can place whatever they’d like in front of us, the sun is what provides. If you look at our players’ star ratings that the gods have given us, they aren’t that impressive. But the sum of those parts, inspired by Coach Sol, have risen above basic star ratings. We are more than what the gods deem us capable of, and I think our results show that.
CSW: That’s a bold statement.
CH: The nut is too busy dealing with the games it’s trying to play it’s children. We’re here to win blaseball games. The Monitor will see that everything is handled, as is intended.
Confidence poured off Helsinki in waves, crushing any doubt I had about the Sunbeams chances in the playoffs. We chat for a few more minutes before they receive a phone call. They tell me it’s urgent business, that the life of a Blaseball Assistant Manager is a flurry of games and players and numbers. Never enough time in the day to do the things they need to. I hear the bell on the front door chime as they leave.
I sip on Sunn Light as I look out the window into the courtyard. A small patch of weeds has caught fire, but there isn’t any other greenery left for it to spread to. The Sunbeams seem like they’re in a good position heading into their first playoff berth of the current era ILB.
Helsinki spoke highly of their pitching and their overall defense, but we can’t be ignoring the offense either. Nerd Pacheco has a batting average of .328, which is number 3 in the league. Hahn Fox has the third most triples hit in the ILB with 22, and the most total bases with 232. When it comes to hits, Hahn and Nerd are 1 & 2 in the league with 108 and 101 respectively. Igneus Delacruz is also on fire with 97 hits, tied for 6th. Nerd Pacheco and Hahn Fox are seen together on the leaderboard yet again, this time in slugging percentage (how many bases per at bat, not counting walks or hit-by-pitches). Nerd is number 4 in the ILB with 63%, and Hahn number 5 with a 62.9%.
Making my way out of the Café, I realize Cassia is right. When you look at the numbers, the Sunbeams are in a very good position. Moving into their first post season appearance, I don’t think it’s naïve to think the Sunbeams have a real shot to go all the way. After the drama and intensity of Season 7, things have been fairly quiet however. With a siesta approaching next week, it really makes me nervous — what does the post-season have in store for all of us?