By: Frijole Jones
Island Tuesday. Taco Friday. The Season 17 Internet Series. How did the LA Unlimited Tacos end up winning it all?
Fortunately, that’s not the question I’m here to answer. Doing so would require a coven of datamancers, and I’m sure SIBR is busy with something involving salmon, skateboards, fluid dynamics, lots of coffee, and numbers that may or may not be imaginary.
What I, Frijoles Jones, am here to do is recap the last Threeson (Seasons 15, 16, and 17) from the perspective of a newsbear (not an actual bear) that followed the Tacos on their journey to the Championship. So let’s hop in a Salmon Cannon and take a trip back in time. [Editors note: Taco News Unlimited and the Blaseball News Network do not recommend actually climbing into a Salmon Cannon.]
After winning the Season 13 and 14 Wild League Championships and then getting swept in both Finals, the Tacos seemed a bit discouraged at the beginning of the Threeson. Valentine Games had left for Hawai’i, and while their replacement, Greer Gwiffin, was welcomed with Tacos enthusiasm, it was a tough loss. Rat Mason had been Elsewhere for much of Season 14, stayed gone all Offseason. Though they came back on Day 3, the Tacos still only won twice in the first week of games.
It was Vito Kravitz’s first season as a pitcher, and he quickly proved that the Tacos Strategy Team (TST) made a great call with this Roster move. The ruthless Kravitz had the best Win-Loss Percentage of the three Tacos pitchers this season and was right behind Yummy Elliott, the Tacos’ new and hungry ace pitcher, in their performance all season long.
Tragedy in Boston
Just as the Tacos were getting their feet under them in the Mid-Earlseason, new but already much-beloved hitter Nicholas Vincent, who had taken up Kravitz’s position last season, was incinerated by a Rogue Umpire on Day 14. Remember that date.
They were replaced by Rat Batson, whose performance in the rest of the season inspired (and deserved!) an article of its own by the esteemed splortscaster Blenjamin Rees.
An Abbreviated Postseason
With Batson instead of Vincent in the Lineup, the Tacos couldn’t maintain the Wild Low dominance that they showed the previous two seasons. They instead ended up neck-and-neck with the Miami Dale and losing the tiebreaker to win the fourth seed spot, forcing them to play in the Wild Card round.
The Tacos were up against the Mexico City Wild Wings. They’d gone 3-3 against the Wings during the regular season, and Burke Gonzales was pitching against Yummy Elliott in Game 1 at LA Taquería. Both pitchers held their own for a 0-0 game that lasted 16 innings until the Wild Wings finally scored at the top of the 17th.
Game 2 took the Tacos to The Bucket, where Mags Banananana and Wyatt Mason IV both let their opponents actually score, and though it was close, the Wild Wings closed it out with a couple of big home runs, winning the game 7-4 and the series 2-0.
The Tacos went home, and the Wild Wings went all the way to the Championships before losing to the Canada Moist Talkers.
Election Ups and Downs
It was the Election of Bats. Of course, that’s when all the active players got Bats. But it’s also when Rat Batson got mercifully transferred to the Shadows, replaced by veteran Sexton Wheerer, who’d spent a season in the Shadows resting their pitching arm and practicing swinging a bat. Ironically, they didn’t receive one of their own.
The TST also recommended a Transfusion for Wyatt Mason IV’s pitching, setting them up to really hold their own next season.
Halexandrey Walton left for Charleston, and I’ve heard rumors that they took one of each of their teammates’ shoes with them.
Season 16… definitely happened.
Look, it’s getting late and I’m kind of hungry and it was ages ago so I need to check my notes. I’m going to make a snack.
Okay. I’m back. So what happened in Season 16?
Wyatt Mason IV had an eventful Day 39, Echoing their teammates 29 times. That Transfusion paid off, bringing Ivy’s stats for the season up significantly. They pitched 8 shutouts during the season, more than Kravitz and Elliott combined, and had a season ERA of 2.99.
Kravitz and Elliott both kept up their strong performances as well, and with Sexton Wheerer in the Lineup, the Tacos were back at the top of the Wild League, finishing the season with 66 Wins.
Interlude: Stadium Shenanigans
Well, there weren’t really any shenanigans. It’s just such a good word, and Tacos fans are known for their willingness to commit to a good shenanigan.
The Al Pastor Memorial Park Planning Committee (APMPPC), which is a division of the TST, has consistently recommended that LA Taquería be formed into a nice wide taco-like shape, reducing the frequency of foul balls and spreading the Tacos’ small team even further apart on the field.
(There are rumors that this was in part due to dietary conflicts between the players. I cannot confirm that any Tacos player has ever tried to eat a teammate, and when I reached out to Al Pastor, team manager, via email, all the speakers in my office played a busy signal, so I have dropped this line of inquiry.)
In Season 15, LA Taquería was made a little less Grandiose. Additionally, the Tacos, along with many other teams, installed a Secret Base. That can’t possibly cause problems in the future.
In Season 16, the APMPPC finally had the opportunity to increase the frequency of Sun2y days in LA, as well as stretch those walls out towards that taco shape.
In Season 17, with no good options for dimensional adjustments, the APMPPC approved the installation of a Fax Machine, for pitching relief, as well as the Hotel Motel, for Earlseason Partying. More on the Fax Machine when we get to Season 17 in this already-long recap.
The Tacos sat out the first round this time, playing the fourth seed Chicago Firefighters in round 2, after the Firefighters beat the Wild Card Hades Tigers.
The Tacos were shut out in Game 1 and Shamed in Game 2. But the Tacos weren’t going to stand for another Postseason sweep, and they turned it around in an exciting Game 3, beating the Firefighters 11 to 7. Ultimately, though, [insert fire metaphor here], and they lost Game 4, sending them to PARTYTIME and dashing their hopes for another trip to the Finals.
Election Time Once Again
At this point, everyone agreed that Tacos were looking good. With Vito Kravitz pitching and the whole Rotation boosted, it was time for the TST to turn its attention to the Lineup. Rat Mason got a Transfusion, but there was more to do. Greer Gwiffin, who had replaced Valentine Games, wasn’t performing as well as the TST had hoped, but they showed promise as a pitcher. Moving them to the Tacos rotation wouldn’t give the team the batting boost it needed, so the analysts in the TST crunched some numbers and recommended a trade.
Felix Garbage, a fairly mediocre pitcher for the New York Millennials, showed promise as a batter, so negotiations began, and the trade was agreed upon. Gwiffin left for New York and Garbage came to LA.
Team captain Mcdowell Mason put Garbage at the top of the Lineup, moving themself to the fourth spot.
Fans were excited. Next season, they said. We could really go all the way next season.
The vibes were good at the start of the season. New Taco Felix Garbage was performing well, as was Sexton Wheerer. There were no major holes in the Lineup and the pitching looked great. The Tacos won 8 of their first 12 games, and 7 of those were against the Wild Wings, who had beaten them in the first round of the Season 15 playoffs.
Then they played a series against the Tokyo Lift.
Just a Little Snack
Remember Season 15, Day 14? The day Nicholas Vincent was incinerated.
It was another Day 14. Former Taco Alejandro Leaf was pitching for the Tokyo Lift. Leaf was one of the Snackrificed, and it was Peanuts weather. They tasted the Infinite and Shelled Felix Garbage in the 5th inning. And then in the 7th inning, they did it again, Shelling Basilio Fig.
All this happened while Sexton Wheerer was Elsewhere, so the Tacos’ already short Lineup now had just three active batters.
Then, just 17 days later, Wyatt Mason IV pitched a game in Reverb weather. After 12 Echoes that alternated between Vito Kravitz, Basilio Fig, and Felix Garbage, Ivy ended the game with an Echo from Garbage, leaving them Shelled and therefore out of the pitching Rotation.
Wheerer had returned from Elsewhere by then, but that still left the Tacos down three players. A third of the active team was now trapped in giant peanut shells.
Fans were distraught. This was supposed to be the Tacos’ Season! Alas, as we all know, Blaseball happens.
But the Tacos kept winning.
The Masons Mcdowell, Rat and Basilio, along with Sexton Wheerer, gave it their all, batting each other (and occasionally themselves) in over and over again.
Vito Kravitz and Yummy Elliott continued to perform well, with Kravitz stepping up to pitch in place of Ivy.
Remember the Fax Machine that I mentioned the Tacos had installed? It was hooked up during Latesiesta, and it didn’t take long for it to bring some chaos to play. That chaos was named McBaseball Clembons. No, that is not a typo.
The Tacos were hosting the Dale, who were scoring Run after Run off of Elliott. In the 6th inning, they got to 10, and a Shadow Fax relieved Elliott, replacing them with… McBaseball Clembons. Who is decidedly not the best pitcher in the Tacos Shadows. Apparently there were some technical difficulties with this newfangled Fax technology.
This was supposed to be the Tacos’ Season! Blaseball happens.
Fortunately, as the TST reminded everyone, McBaseball Clembons was bad enough at pitching that they would certainly be Faxed back out soon.
Sure enough, in Clembons’s next game 3 days later, the Wild Wings scored 10 Runs at the beginning of the 6th inning. Yummy Elliott was faxed back in to pitch the rest of the game.
The Fax Machines have since been updated to work as intended.
McBaseball Clembon’s entire pitching career consists of 3 innings + 1 pitch on Day 74 and 5 innings + 1 pitch on Day 77. Not even one full game. Blaseball!
One More Postseason
It was a good season for small rosters. The Yellowstone Magic ended their season with an amazing uppy-downy 72-27 record, leading the Mild League, and the Tacos were at the top of the Wild league, albeit much more closely, with the Dale, Spies, and Firefighters close behind.
The Tacos were facing the Firefighters again after losing to them in the last Postseason. After losing Game 1, the Tacos won the next three games, moving onto the Wild Championships.
The Tacos played the Dale next, who’d beaten the Spies 3-0. The Tacos managed to win in 3 games, but every game was close. It was an edge-of-your-seat series all the way to the end.
Their place in the Internet Series secured, attention turned to the Pies and Fridays, who were still playing for the Mild Championship. When the Fridays won it, the celebrations were simply vibes throughout LA Taquería and beyond.
Your Season 17 champions are the LA Unlimited Tacos!
What can I even say about this series. There were home runs. So many home runs. My ears are still ringing from the cheering in LA Taquería when Val Games hit that dinger for the Fridays in Game 1.
Game 2 in Hawai’i was under a Solar Eclipse, and the Tacos were already up by 4 after the 1st inning. Just as the 2nd began, a Rogue Umpire tried to incinerate the Shelled Basilio Fig, who still ate the flame and became Magmatic.
The TST made Plans.
By the end of the 3rd inning, the Tacos were up by 6, and they showed no signs of stopping, scoring 4 more in the 4th, and it’s a good thing too, because the Fridays weren’t slowing down either, bringing their score up to 8 by the bottom of the 7th. The game ended with a remarkable score of 17 to 8, putting the Tacos up by two games and heading home for the third.
Game 3 was something completely different. Yummy Elliott was pitching against former Taco but longtime Friday Baldwin Breadwinner, who was pitching for the first time in their career this season. Despite stats that didn’t look like they could hold up to Elliott’s, Breadwinner held their own against the four active Tacos hitters, and no one scored until the 5th inning, when Rat Mason made it home.
The Tacos held that lead for a while until Val Games hit a dinger, tying the game in the 8th inning. Sexton Wheerer tried to win it all at the bottom of the 9th by trying to steal home, but got caught, sending the game into extra innings, where Mcdowell Mason scored on a sacrifice play to win the game and the Tacos first Internet Series. Taco Baco!
What Comes Next
Lots of celebrating, and then— as always, an Election.
When Basilio Fig became Magmatic in Game 2 of the finals, The TST quickly revised their planning to include a bit of science, voting to Reform Fig’s Magmatic. It became Unstable, which means that Fig is now an Unstable Fire Eater: home runs ahoy! That is, once they’re unshelled, at least.
A Transfusion went to Basilio Mason this Season, boosting their batting after a great performance in the Postseason.
After a season-long campaign by dedicated tacogandists, the Tacos won Acidic blood. Bring on the limes, and the data crimes—Acidic pitches make runs worth 0.1 less.
And then there were the trades. This time they weren’t carefully organized after crunching the numbers.
First, the Magic Plundered Sexton Wheerer, sending back their longtime player Bevan Wise.
Then the Crabs traded Fish Summer for Wyatt Mason IV… except that the Crabs no longer had Fish Summer to trade, since the Georgias had already traded Montgomery Bullock for Fish Summer, and so Wyatt Mason IV was indeed traded for Fish Summer, but Ivy ended up with the Georgias.
Fish Summer is indeed now in Ivy’s place in the Tacos’ rotation. The only problem is that they’re a batter. Their pitching? Well, let’s just say the team would be better off with McBaseball.
So as Season 18 begins, what can we expect?
I’ve been around long enough to know that no good can come of making Blaseball predictions. It’s likely we’ll see Fish Summer Faxed away, but there are a lot of confounding factors there: How often are the Tacos playing at home against batters who can score 10 Runs? We shall see. Will we get an Unshelling? That’s up to the whims of the Birds. What new horrors await our players next Threeson?
Only time will tell.