By: Crafted Robot
This recap is weird. It’s not often you read that as the first sentence of a recap, but how else do you begin to describe how a team goes from being title contenders, making their first-ever appearance in the Mild League Playoff Series (Semi-Finals), to being the worst team the season after?
So in the first twist of this Season 17 recap, we find ourselves back in Season 16.
Season 16 Election Woes
The Season 16 Core Mechanics were a frightening team. It only took one look at the pitching Rotation to see why. There wasn’t a single pitcher in the Rotation below 5 stars. It resulted in the best Runs Allowed record in the league that season, only 232.9 Runs Allowed overall, 2.35 Runs Allowed per game, with only the Season 16 Champions, the Dallas Steaks coming close to that.
Season 16’s Election was the beginning of that pitching Rotation falling apart in a wimdy vote that shocked everyone at the Core, and its combination with another will:
The Mechanics had just pulled off one of the worst or, depending on your perspective, one of the greatest trade deals in Blaseball history: in terms of pitching stars, we gave the Steaks a 6.3-star pitcher for a 1.7-star pitcher in return.
Attempts were made to bring Zoey home at the Season 17 Elections. Thanks to the kindness of the Steaks team and others but were ultimately unsuccessful and with the recent Season 18 Wills changes, Zoey is unlikely to be returning anytime soon, and so we wish them the best and will always welcome them back with open arms.
The consequences of all this weren’t surprising. The Core ended up falling 9 places in the BNN Rankings from 6th in Season 16 to 15th in Season 17. The rest of the pitching Rotation was unharmed, PolkaDot just wasn’t the beloved icon they once were.
Okay, so the Mechs were definitely on track for a PARTYTIME season, but how did we speedrun it? That came down to those entities we banned from the Core long ago, the Blaseball Gods and their sinister underling *The Weather,* specifically Reverb.
Day 2 of Season 17 saw Mindy Kugel, a 5.5-star pitcher, swap places with batter Bottles Suljak. While Mindy turned out to actually be a great batter, gliding across the immateria, Bottles’ pitching was more akin to them slowly drowning and falling through reality as we know it.
Thankfully, Bottles only had to wait until Day 74 to be saved after the brand new Modification, Fax Machine, caused them to be swapped out with a brand new ILB player from the Core Shadows, Cravel Gesundheit. But nobody at the Core was relaxing towards the end of the season.
The Return of the Jaylen Hotdogfingers Tour
The Yellowstone Magic arrived at the Core on Day 88. The series’ forecast of Solar Eclipse, Feedback, and Feedback was grim, and the Fliickerrriiing Jaylen Hotdogfingers was continuing with their world tour.
Jaylen had previously visited the Core back in Season 13 shortly after our arrival, causing us to lose Lizzy Pasta to the Fridays (They would be quickly Shadowed at the end of the season and have remained there since), but was eventually replaced by new-to-batting Mindy Kugel from earlier.
But everyone knew what double-Feedback weather and Fliickerrriiing would mean. We were going to lose one of our beloved, excellent pitchers Shirai McElroy and Jolene Willowtree, or PolkaDot Patterson or Cravel Gesundheit.
The first Feedback game got underway. As the innings passed, debate raged over who might be swapped, and nervous energy descended on the Core. But with the final Out of the game came collective sigh of relief and a 4-2 win to Yellowstone with no Feedback. Fans celebrated.
The idea that maybe just maybe we might somehow escape the Jaylen world tour began spreading into people’s minds— but to slightly misquote The Anchor “as any long-term fan of Blaseball will tell you, going into something with good feelings is a horrible, horrible mistake.”
The Feedback struck on Day 90 with the best possible outcome: Cravel Gesundheit was swapped with Jaylen Hotdogfingers and fans from both teams rejoiced. This was a solid trade with the smallest amount of heartbreak possible. The Garages would at the end of the Season break Jaylen’s Fliickerrriiing curse with a Modification reroll to Super Idol, and both are pitching today in Season 18.
The Name is Alto
PolkaDot Patterson we knew is no more. That much became clear, especially to a team like the Core, which would have pitching pumping through its veins if not for the actual pesky blood and oil in the way.
The Core was faced with a dilemma: as a pitcher, PolkaDot seemed done. Even if we trained them back to their previous standard or Zoey’s standard, their natural talent had disappeared and we had just finished our focus on pitching.
So we faced an incredibly tough question: Do we Shadow one of Blaseball’s most influential players with little hope of bringing them out again and make a fantastic pitching roster again?
That was the question hanging over everything, but as this was happening PolkaDot’s popularity on the team grew. They might not have been the amazing pitching superstar that they once were but that didn’t matter, they were trying their best and trying to make sense of the legacy that they had inherited and all the expectations that came with that, and we loved that determination.
Soon, the name Alto became commonplace within the Core when referring to PolkaDot, in reference to the Alternate infusion that had changed them, and plans were made after Alto’s talent for batting was recognized in a team that had long suffered from lackluster batting.
While Alto still ended up joining the Shadows as a result of the Fax Machine, Alto looks set to make a return in the near future to forge a new legacy and story with the Core Mechanics— not as a pitcher, but as a batter. We can’t wait to see what they will do, and who knows— maybe PolkaDot is off somewhere, still throwing fastballs.
Once the aftermath of being the PARTYTIME hosts winded down, in which we had uniquely introduced each team (The Dale managing this twice due to PARTYTIME shenanigans) and presented a Gearball matching their team’s color schemes, we turned our attention towards the future.
The Season 17 Election was mostly positive for us, but as mentioned earlier we were unable to bring Zoey Kirchner back home to the Core. We were able to shorten the pitching Rotation down to 3 people and sent Jolene Willowtree to the Shadows ready to replace any pitcher with over 10 runs conceded and utilize Shadow Fax the best as we can.
Gia Holbrook’s batting was Infused to beyond 5 stars, which is unheard of for a Core Mechanics batter, leading to excitement over what Gia can now bring to the table as a thoroughly great batter. The Garages, as mentioned earlier, re-rolled Jaylen Hotdogfingers Fliickerrriiing modification making them a surprise addition to the Core’s pitching Rotation for the foreseeable future.
While the Core Mechanics may not be the one-sided pitching powerhouse they once were, we can finally say that the holes in our team composition have been fixed with stable batting and pitching throughout— and in a time in which the League is submerged in immateria, that might not be a bad thing at all.