Another election, another election analysis episode! Join me and Benson “Nutty” Newton as we dive into the Season 8 Decrees and Blessings.
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Kimberly: Hello, listeners! You are listening to Take Me Out To The Blall Game, the world's most average blaseball podcast. I am your host, Kimberly Dauber, and I use she/her pronouns. It is blaseball election time again, and we are back with Benson “Nutty” Newton, the intern-in-chief of the Blaseball News Network to tell you all about this season's decrees and blessings. But first, a word from our splonsors:
This episode of Take Me Out To The Blall Game was splonsored by the Blaseball News Network.
Have you lost track of what's going on in blaseball? The Blaseball News Network has an exciting announcement for you! BNN has partnered with Take Me Out To The Blall Game to bring you the BNN Season 8 Recap Livestream, happening this Saturday at 1 PM Pacific/4 PM Eastern time. I, myself, will be your humble host, and our panel will feature Ace Analyst of Blaseball Prospectus, Eurosplort, Firewall Andrews of BNN, and intern-in-chief Benson “Nutty” Newton. Tune into twitch.tv/blaseballnews for one condensed recap of all the splorts and lore from Season 8. Again, that’s Saturday at 1 PM Pacific/4 PM Eastern on twitch.tv/blaseballnews.
Hello, listeners! Welcome back. As I said, we are here today with Benson “Nutty” Newton, the intern-in-chief of the Blaseball News Network. Benson, thanks for coming again.
Benson: Hey, it's great to be back.
K: Just to check in once more, can you reiterate what we should call you, what are your pronouns, in case they ever change (sometimes they do), and is the Commissioner doing a great job?
B: Well, you can just call me Benson. You know, that nickname “Nutty,” I'm not the biggest fan. My pronouns are he/him, and, of course, the Commissioner is always doing a great job.
K: Excellent. Well, thank you so much for coming, Benson. Listeners, before we get into talking about the details of this election, I'm going to give a quick summary of what elections are, in case anybody's tuning in for the first time and is new to blaseball and incredibly confused. So, for those of you who are unfamiliar with blaseball elections, elections happen every season, and they have massively far-reaching consequences for blaseball. One part of elections is blessings. Blessings help teams: sometimes they give a team special powers, or they'll give a team new players or maybe different blood types—lots of different kinds of things. Blessings are distributed by lottery, but, the more times you vote for a blessing, the more likely your team is to get it, so you want to vote for blessings that you want your team to get.
The other part of elections is decrees, which apply to the entire Internet Blaseball League. Last season we passed a decree called Bless Off, and that stopped the top four teams in the Internet Blaseball League from receiving any blessings that season. So that was pretty huge. It was a pretty big hit for them. But today, we're gonna talk about blessings first, this season's blessings. So, Benson: what do you think are the most critical blessings to watch for Season 8?
B: The Season 8 election actually brings a really interesting mix of blessings to the board. We have some really cool new ones and a few very powerful ones that we've seen before, too, I definitely have my mind on are very similar to each other. There's Replacement Elbows, which improves three random pitchers on your team by one star, which is 20%, and then Precognition, which does the exact same thing for hitters. These have come up in a few elections. They're always very highly contested because it's just straight stat boosts to your players. The most interesting new one to me is Affinity for Crows, which is sponsored by the Society for Internet Blaseball Research--great friends of the Blaseball News Network, by the way. It will make your team play 50% better in the bird weather. It's interesting to me because, right now, all the bird weather does is, you know, the birds will come down and maybe nicely pick your shelled players out of the peanuts that they're stuck in, but, other than that, it doesn't do anything. 50% better? I’d imagine it being very hard to not win in that circumstance.
K: Wow, so there's some very powerful blessings on the board today.
B: Yeah, there really is.
K: So I know that, sometimes, teams will also gun for a specific blessing, maybe one that's not as contested by the rest of the league, as part of an individual team strategy. Are you aware of any that are going on like that this season?
B: Yes, I am. The blessing Astroturf is being heavily sought after by our friends, the Boston Flowers. Why? They want to give their entire team the Grass blood type, of course. Since they’re flowers, I'm sure that plenty of them already have that special green thumb, but they have a new player, Glabe Moon. Glabe Moon is the literal moon on the blaseball field, so they want to help terraform Glabe Moon with the Astroturf blessing, so that they can fit onto the team a bit more.
K: Okay, Astroturf for the Flowers. Well, that makes sense. Also, I am a Flowers fan, so I should maybe start putting my votes into that one. Speaking of which, aside from, you know, following what my team wants, what are some other ways that I can choose which blessings I should be voting for. There's just so many of them, it's very hard for me to choose.
B: Well, if you don't want to particularly coordinate with your team, the main way is just going out on your own, I guess, figuring out which blessing you think would be the most interesting if your team got it, or perhaps, yeah, you could go for the most thematically appropriate one for your team—like if, say, you were a Flowers fan, and the Flowers weren't going for Astroturf, you could put all your votes into Astroturf to make sure that the Flowers got the Grass blood type because that's the most thematically appropriate. Lots of people like to go for thematically appropriate things, some people like to try to make their team as powerful as possible as quickly as possible, and then other people just try to see what kind of weird wonky things they can make the game do.
K: All right. Cool, cool, cool. Well, thanks for going over the blessings. Listeners, when we come back, Benson and I are gonna talk about decrees, but, before that, we're going to take a short break. Don't go away—we'll see you in a minute.
This episode of Take Me Out To The Blall Game was splonsored by the Dallas Steaks.
Matthew: Hello, my name is Matthew, and I'm the vessel for the Collective Dadconscious. The dads wanted me to invite you to the cookout, aka Hlomecoming, a dance for everyone. The dance is happening this Sunday, the 27th, an hour before election. Come hang out in the #watch-party channel on Discord and share online using the hashtag #Hlomecoming. Create art, make music, share playlists—above all else, have fun, but not too much fun. And don't forget: if you need a dad, we got ya. This message is sponsored by the Dallas Steaks.
K: Hey there, listeners, we are back here with Benson “Nutty” Newton, the intern-in-chief of the Blaseball News Network. We are here to talk about decrees for the Season 8 blaseball elections. So, Benson, tell me: what degrees do we have this season?
B: All right. As is practically tradition at this point, we have three decrees on the board, and they're all quite interesting and quite impactful. The first one is wild cards. Every season, a random team from each subleague will leave Party Time to become the fifth playoff team. A best-of-three wild card series will happen on Fridays, so: on Friday, after the conclusion of the regular season, a random team from the Wild League and a random team from the Mild League will face off against each other in a best-of-three series to see which of those two teams gets to go to the playoffs on Saturday.
Relief: next season, the bottom four teams will have relief. When one of their pitchers gives up five runs, they’ll immediately be replaced by a pitcher from their Shadows. What does that mean? Well, we don't exactly know. Will the pitcher die when they’re replaced by someone from the Shadows?
K: Oh, no!
B: What are the Shadows?
K: I don’t know.
B: Is it new pitchers? Is it pitchers who have been incinerated in the past? I don’t know. It's a very mysterious decree and, potentially, a very scary one.
And then the final one, my personal favorite, Double Jumps: whenever a team defeats the team currently leading their division—so leading Wild High, Wild Low, Mild High, and Mild Low—they’ll earn an extra win. That's a permanent effect, so it won't just go away at the end of next season. If this is passed, for the rest of blaseball history, whenever a team defeats the team currently leading their division, they'll earn two wins. That actually has enormous potential to completely shake up how the standings could work out every season.
K: Wow. So we got some pretty powerful decrees going up here. Okay, so the one that interests me, actually, is Wild Cards, and the reason that I'm intrigued by Wild Cards is that game is in blaseball are not just opportunities to take your team higher in the standings. They’re also risky endeavors where bad things can happen to the players and bad things can happen to the team.
B: For sure.
K: So, having people play additional games, period, seems like it's actively dangerous for blaseball players—
B: It’s very true.
K: —and that intrigues me about Wild Cards. What else are you intrigued about about any of these? We kinda— I think we kind of went over each of them.
B: Yeah, well, I definitely find, adding a fifth team to the playoffs, I think, would be very interesting. What purpose would that serve? I'm not sure. Would the first seed—for example, the first seed in the Wild League this season is definitely the Crabs (they locked for the postseason on, I believe, Day 81; that's outrageously quick)—but will the first team just get a bye while this new wild card team is put in their place? I don’t know. I think, from an “interesting” perspective, the most interesting one is actually Relief, but mainly just because it's so mysterious. What are the Shadows? What happens to the pitcher who gets benched?
K: I think we would also be remiss not to mention, for Relief, the bulletin that told us that Mike Townsend retreated to the Shadows after Jaylen Hotdogfingers was resurrected, so this seems like an opportunity for Mike Townsend to make another reappearance, so that could be a pretty big reason people vote for Relief.
B: That would be fascinating.
K: You want to bet on any of them? Which one you think is gonna make it?
B: Well, I think, time and time again, the blaseball fan base has shown a propensity to vote for decrees that they think will knock down the top teams a peg, especially with the last few seasons. The Baltimore Crabs are the most dominant blaseball team that we've seen. They have a 6-star pitcher and a 6-star hitter not even playing in their lineup, and, at this moment, they are over ten games ahead of the second-place team in the league. So, I think I would be completely unsurprised if people vote for Double Jumps simply just because they think it'll help get their underdog team up over the competition.
K: All right. Thank you, Benson. Thanks for telling us all about the decrees. Listeners, we’re just about out of time, so one final question, as always. Benson, as you know, we are all love blaseball, so tell me, this week: what are you love about blaseball?
B: This week I am love about blaseball all the incredible artwork of blaseball players that I've been seeing all over my Twitter feed, all over Discord. Everyone is so talented. It's so crazy to see, especially for someone like me who has no concept of how art works at all and just toils away writing all the time.
K: I've been so enchanted by all of the Richmond Harrisons I've been seeing.
B: We all love Richmond Harrison.
K: We are all love Richmond Harrison! And, in case you don't know, Richmond Harrison is usually drawn as an axolotl, and Richmond Harrison has a blaseball cap on his head, and, if you haven't seen fan art of Richmond Harrison, I highly recommend you look it up because it will make you happy. [Laughter.] All right. Thanks, Benson. We are out of time for today, so, to wrap up: Mr. Newton, where can our listeners find you?
B: Well, you can find me on Twitter @BNNIntern. You can find my employer, the Blaseball News Network, @BlaseballNews, or you can find my written work on their website blaseball.news. You can also hear me talk about this entire season on our upcoming BNN Season 8 Recap Stream this Saturday at twitch.tv/blaseballnews at 4 PM EST and 1 PM Pacific time.
K: All right. Thank you, Benson. Everyone, remember to follow the Take Me Out To The Blall Game podcast on Twitter. We are @blaseball_pod. You should also email us your blaseball questions and opinions and soulscreams. We love to hear your reactions to the latest blaseball events and stories about your teams and suggestions for topics we should cover. We especially love to get recordings of your voices because this is a podcast. Please email all of these things to us at email@example.com. I am Kimberly Dauber, this has been Take Me Out To The Blall Game, and thank you for participating in the cultural event of blaseball.
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Transcribed by Nat.