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Acquisition by the Dale
Item. A sawed-off bat of protection. Impossible to wield*. Minimize a Player, but they† shield‡ your team§ from incineration.
In what would be called a wimdy in Miami vernacular, the Miami Dale won the blessing with 2% of a total 119,673 votes, upsetting the highest bidder New York Millennials, who had 56% of the vote.
Dale lineup player Raúl Leal received the Iffey Jr. Leal was then Minimized (reduced to 0 stars in all stats) and received the unique Fire Protector modification. The exact wording of the modification was as follows (see Operation for further implications of this text):
This player will protect their¶ team# from incinerations.
The precise operation of the Iffey Jr. was not well understood until Season β13, but some information about its properties was revealed during its tenure. First, there was the question of whether it would Minimize the wielder once or repeatedly. This was put to rest when Leal gained stars via Enhanced Party Time (twice during Season β8 and once during Season β11). Additionally, it was unclear whether the item would function only during blaseball games or for any incineration targeting their team (see Semantic Analysis for an in-depth review of the meaning of "their team" in the operation of the Iffey Jr.) It was proven that the Iffey Jr. would work outside of play during the Season β9 Election (see Second Redirection.)
The object's predominant function was observed twice during its tenure in the League.
On Season β8, Day 94, a rogue umpire attempted to incinerate Beck Whitney. However, Raúl Leal redirected the attack back to the umpire using the Iffey Jr. This incineration is the first known instance of an umpire death since the start of Internet League Blaseball. The deceased was later identified as Ump Husky.
During the Season β9 Election, the Miami Dale won the New Kid blessing and a rogue umpire attempted to incinerate their least Idolized player, Don Elliott. Leal again prevented the incineration using the Iffey Jr., despite its occurrence outside of regular play. A second Umpire, later identified as Ump Raúl, died in the attempt.
A fatal vulnerability of the Iffey Jr. was revealed on Season β13, Day 43, when Leal was incinerated. While shocking, the weakness was confirmed by Umpire sun2man, who stated "TO BE CLEAR...RAUL WAS ALWAYS INCINERATE-ABLE". Following Leal's death, the Commissioner tweeted that "In light of Raúl’s storied career, the Iffey Jr. has been deemed Historically Significant and will be Preserved."
The remainder of this article contains lore created collaboratively by the Blaseball community.
The ambiguous nature of the Iffey Jr.'s descriptive text has been a subject of debate since its introduction. Analysis of the text provided in the blessing and item descriptions along with historical data paints an inconsistent, even deliberately obfuscatory picture.
- * Impossible to wield: Exaggerated, figurative. Was wielded hundreds of times by Raúl Leal. Many of these were not particularly successful, but the absolute nature of the term "impossible" is clearly at odds with Leal's nonzero batting average.
- † they: Could have either the wielder or the object itself as referent. If the latter, the use of "they" over "it" might imply a level of personification mirrored by the item's "Jr." suffix. It seems more likely, given the clause "Minimize a Player," that the referent is said Player, but it is by no means definitive.
- ‡ shield: Implies a particular relationship between the wielder and the object of the sentence; the wielder is protecting by taking a specific action to do so. Given the vulnerability, we can in hindsight more clearly interpret this as "the wielder is protecting [someone else] by taking a specific action to do so.
- § your team: Refers to the team of which the wielder is a member, but in a particular sense. "Your" is an outlier in typical blessing text; may refer to the fan whose ticket was drawn, resulting in winning the blessing, or to the entirety of the winning team's fanbase. Seems deliberately juxtaposed with "they," i.e., substituting "their team" would be clearer. Notably, by using "your," the team referred to is the entirety of the roster of the team who won the blessing. There is nothing in the text to suggest any kind of division between the wielder and the team.
- ¶ their: The Fire Protector modification text reverses the previous decision. Whether intentional or not, this inconsistency casts doubt on any attempt to parse this aspect of the blessing or modification text.
- # team: Again, a lack of clarity as to the subject leaves the reader unable to accurately derive the intended meaning of "team." Considering common potential phrases such as "my team and I," "my team isn't here right now," etc., it is not always the case that the subject is semantically included within the group, even with a direct grammatical link which implies they are, simultaneously, a member of said group. The modification text gives no signifiers to aid in meaning-making. Whose team is protected? What does that suggestion of ownership imply?
Only upon the incineration of the wielder were these questions put to rest: the wielder is separate, a distinct actor protecting "[the rest of] their team." Given the statement referenced in Vulnerability, it appears that the Umps were aware of the correct reading when the item was introduced. There is no evidence as to whether the ambiguity was intentional or simply an interaction between unclear writing and overactive fan analysis. There is likewise nothing suggesting whether knowledge of the vulnerability, if they did have any, affected the actions of any Umpires. Some fans find it difficult to square assertions of ignorance and/or randomness with the relatively low likelihood that Leal would be targeted by the second unprompted incineration attempt on the Dale since the team acquired the Iffey. Other than sun2man's statement, ILB staff and the IPUU have to date released no information about their historical knowledge of the Iffey's properties.
- Contrary to popular depictions, no one knows exactly how much of the Iffey Jr. was sawed off, by whom, or in which direction.
- Despite its name, the Iffey Jr. has no known relatives.
- There is an "e" in the name of the Iffey Jr.
In Popular Media
While the only official physical description of the Iffey Jr. was that it was "a sawed-off bat," a number of artists have depicted the item, often in the hands of its wielder, Raúl Leal.
Leal Redirects an Incineration, by @AliceJooren
Leal holding the Iffey Jr. by @tigrishades
Leal and the Iffey at Season 8 Hlomecoming, by @tangeriiiiiine
Leal faces a rogue umpire, by @CHURGALAX
Raúl Leal by @@hbdoesart
This item's name is a reference to Ken Griffey Jr.[Who?]
- Umpire Sun2Man [ump_sun2man] (10 Mar 2021). Via #dale, Blaseball Discord.
- Gonzales, Gerald (20XX, March 12). Noise Ordinances Lifted Countywide in Memory of the Miami Sound Barrier; Fans Throw 'Funerager' Downtown. The Miami Gerald, pp.A1-A3.
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