By: Traci J
Seasons 16 and 17 have come and gone like the tides, and the Fridays came closer than ever before to a parade before succumbing to (Taco) Tuesday in the end. How did the Fridays go from PARTYTIME to the finals? Out of respect to the humble Salmon, let’s recap the facts in a stream of consciousness style.
Friday to the Core
The past couple of seasons have seen a number of significant events in games between the Mechanics and the Fridays.
During Season 16, the Mechs and Fridays set a new record for the longest game by innings with a 28 inning marathon performance by pitchers Evelton McBlase and Jolene Willowtree. Both pitchers had strikeouts in the 40s after pitching the equivalent of an entire three-game series in a single game. This game also has the distinction of being a McBlase-Off, as the Mechs are home to former Friday Evelton McBlase II. The game was scoreless through the 9th, and ties were broken and reformed twice in extras before the Fridays finally prevailed 4-2.
During Season 17, Viberight Field’s new Bird Houses caught the attention of Fans during a home game against the Mechanics. Every foul ball in Bird weather causes a new bird to find a home, and the league kindly keeps a count of the number of newly housed birds. In one of the most upshelled events of the season, Mechanics batter Lady Matsuyama fouled off of Fridays’ pitcher Fenry Marlow, allowing bird number 69 to find a new home.
Lady Matsuyama must have enjoyed this interaction, as later that season she swapped with Fridays batter Christian Combs during Feedback. Lady Matsuyama is a formidable force at the bat, boosted in home games by her Homebody mod. She flourished on her new team, proving to be the team’s third best batter behind Valentine Games and Beck Whitney, and made major contributions during the finals run.
Christian Combs was a Season 1 Friday, the last remaining vestige of the team’s original lineup. The only remaining original Fridays on the team are Season 1 pitchers Stevenson Heat and Jacob Winner. We wish Combs well as he heads Down.
This Threeson was one for the birds. The aforementioned Bird Houses were built in season 16 and racked up 115 houses for birds during Season 17. It remains to be seen what effect this has on the actual splort, but initial reports suggest the birds may be providing much-needed lift to the team’s eDensity.
In another Bird sighting, the Season 16 Elections saw the arrival of Mordecai Kingbird via an Equivalent Exchange by the Georgias for Fridays pitcher Montgomery Bullock. Kingbird was then immediately granted a Skateboard from a Fridays Blessing, which was unfortunately wasted on the now-pitching Kingbird.
Mordecai Kingbird performed way, WAY above expectations during Season 17, with an ERA much lower than even their hidden Apple stlats would suggest. It remains to be seen if they can sustain that performance in the seasons to come, but they have so far proven to be a slight improvement over Montgomery Bullock.
Montgomery Bullock had been with the team since the Season 10 Champs in the Making Blessing stole three players from the ascending Crabs. With Bullock’s departure, Sutton Dreamy is the only remaining player acquired from that Blessing, though Valentine Games is also a former Crab.
Bad Luck Baldwin
A relatively calm Season 16 of flexing their four batting stars in the Lineup turned to a tumultuous Season 17 for Baldwin Breadwinner. A Move Will put Breadwinner in the rotation, bringing the active Roster to seven batters and seven pitchers. Breadwinner proved to be a disaster on the mound, giving up the team’s worst ERA.
The Parasite mod was not enough to save Baldwin. Being on such a long roster, Breadwinner only got to pitch a single Blooddrain game, and their awful technique led them to only 4 strikeouts. Of these, only one drained a relevant pitching stat.
Then Breadwinner shocked the world of Blaseball in the playoffs. Pitching in two games, Breadwinner led the team with a stunning 2.00 postseason ERA. This included a valiant performance in the finals. Facing down the Tacos Lineup— an efficient machine that scored 17 Runs in the previous game–Breadwinner held the line, giving up only one run through nine innings before finally giving up the season-ending Run in the bottom of the tenth.
Baldwin’s bad luck only continued in the Election. Ever since the Champs in the Making Blessing shipped Breadwinner out of the league, they and former teammate Alyssa Harrell have had a long and unfortunate in-game history, being swapped for each other in a head-scratcher of an Exchange Will. After Harrell was Attracted to the Fridays in the playoffs, finally putting the pair back on the same team, Breadwinner was moved to the Steaks by the Alternator Blessing.
A Promising Playoff Progression
The Fridays missed the playoffs in Season 16, but a 56 win Season was enough to get them into the playoffs as a fourth seed in Season 17.
First, they faced and quickly dispatched the 38 Win Wild Card, the New York Millennials. This series started off a pattern of former Fridays: Greer Gwiffin, the Plunder replacement for Valentine Games, had bounced around the league to the Mills and pitched game one.
Second, the Fridays faced off against the Yellowstone Magic. Friday Night Magic is one of the league’s longest-standing friendships in terms of games played, but the two teams had never faced off in the playoffs before. The Magic were the toast of the league after a rash of Redactions left their roster with only four batters and four pitchers. The Lineup especially rose to unseen heights, with 71 Wins powered in part by former Friday James Mora’s powerful Bat. The Fridays won in upset fashion, with the 3-1 series clinched by pitcher Stevenson Heat, one of Mora’s fellow pitchers on the Discipline Era Fridays.
In the Mild League Final, Hawai’i threw down with the Philly Pies, the top team in the Mild High. Star Pies batter Eduardo Woodman is the former Friday this time. Woodman was on the Fridays for exactly one plate appearance during a Season 8 game that saw Woodman feedback swap twice with the same player: Alyssa Harrell. During game three, who should pop out of Tastycake Stadium’s Secret Base other than Harrell themself. Lady Matsuyama got them to third with a single, and the Fridays made the Fans sweat with a couple of quick outs before Spears Taylor finally batted Harrell in. The prodigal Breadsbian, stealer of Infusions, the first player to have their soul completely Consumed, has returned to the Fridays. Oh, and the team beat the Pies 3-2 in the series, overwhelming Philly’s spectacular Rotation in just enough games.
In their first-ever ILB final, the Fridays faced off against the LA Unlimited Tacos. The Tacos and Fridays have long had a kind of kinship as two of the worst teams in the league during the Discipline Era. Former Friday Basilio Fig sat Shelled as the rest of the Tacos lineup tore the weak links in the Hawai’i rotation to shreds, including a 17-8 Home Run Derby in Game 2. The bats ran cold in game 3, as the Tacos capped off the sweep with a 2-1 victory in extra innings.
Here’s a little history lesson on the Fridays’ playoff appearances in chronological order: lost in the Wild Card round, lost in the Mild League semis, lost in the Mild League finals, lost in the Internet Series. The Fridays have been failing upward, but there is no up left to fail. The next time the Fridays make the playoffs, consider the ILB on notice: they might just go all the way.
We Make Legends
The endgame of the MVP board was finally revealed in Season 17. On Day 99, Friday Icons York Silk and Nagomi McDaniel, the only two players with Ego++++, finished the regular season above the MVP noodle. They were thus enshrined into the Vault, removing them from their respective teams (The Garages and Wild Wings) and granting them the Legendary status.
Silk and McDaniel were teammates on the Season 2 and 3 Fridays, and both became 5-star batters during those seasons. Silk was the defining player of the Discipline Era Fridays before being podded by the Shelled One. McDaniel rejoined the Fridays on a Season 10 Blessing after powering the Crabs to ascension. The two bounced around the league once Wills were an option, reuniting briefly on the Season 15 Crabs before continuing their world tours. After York’s Resurrection and McDaniel’s Redaction, it seems these two will finally get a much-deserved break from Blaseball.
Aldon Cashmoney, who also became a 5 star batter on the Fridays, is one of the few players next in line at Ego++++. The enigmatic Valentine Games, who has partied multiple times with the team, isn’t far behind at Ego+++.
The Fridays find themselves in an unfamiliar position heading into this Onseason: frontrunners. BNN’s own power rankings put them at third in the league, and the best in the Mild Low. The team built on the mantra of “Win’t or Won’t, We Vibe” will be doing a whole lot of Win’t if nothing goes wrong.
One particular surprise is that near-seven-star batters Beck Whitney and Valentine Games seem to have laid roots in Hawai’i. With the Plunder Will gone, and Beck Whitney’s Roamin’ Reformed into High Pressure, the Vibes Row trio of Beck, Games, and Lady Matsuyama will continue to cause headaches for even the best opposing pitchers. The presence of former star Harrell in the Shadows gives the team a tempting option for replacing the less-good batters in their Lineup.
After the failed Breadwinner experiment, the Fridays seem set on revitalizing their pitching squad. Juice Collins was Transfused up to 6 stars, giving the Fridays three true Aces on their six-player rotation, alongside Yosh Carpenter and Evelton McBlase. The team is still a number of moves away from some of the elite three- and four-player Rotations around the league, but a truly bad stretch of pitchers like the one that ended their finals run is a thing of the past.
Overall, the Vibes are as right as ever in Viberight Field. Their Finals run was far from a fluke, and Fridays Fans will put their faith in that old refrain: Magma Mia, Here We Go Again.