Alternate Reality/"New Math" Velazquez
When the original Velazquez left with the Alternation, a 𝜈 Math took Velazquez's place; and after the ILB's mandatory ratings committee meeting, Velazquez was granted an improvement in stars in every area. The rest of the Houston Spies were, by their reports, crushed by this news, lamenting the dreams of the Velazquez they once knew. New Math's pitches, though faster, became uncharacteristically predictable. But when New Math used a metre stick, or twirled oversized pens, or performed investigations with The Spies' iconic bat-sized magnifying glasses, they were handled with "near unimaginable" grace. Velazquez had become a 4-star batter, and trained every day to become stronger. When asked about the change, New Math typed, "Let's just say I picked up a few stars from a passing friend," with what could be vaguely described as a wink. One popular rumor suggests that Velazquez's alternate took a star from the original Velazquez as part of the swap, letting the original Velazquez attain the desired negative star rating as a sacrifice.
Velazquez appeared to maintain both continuity of identity and of memory despite the Alternation, defying the observed effects of every other Alternation that has ever been seen. Blaseball theorists have concluded that Velazquez, being Math, exists as a singular continuous entity through all parallel universes operating off of mathematical laws, leading some fans as well as players such as Fitzgerald Blackburn to conclude that "Math is Math."
Velazquez, in a post-game interview on Day 7 of Season 4, wrote "My new dream? Reaching a new decade. The big 1-0. Double digits," and then soulscreamed into the reporter's microphone.
This Velazquez lacks their predecessor's deep knowledge of the deepest physics and metaphysics of the immaterial plane, and is often found struggling to reverse-engineer the enormous, unlabeled spreadsheets left by the previous Velazquez. When asked what these meant, Velazquez bolted from the room. The spreadsheet that was still visible had a filename in Hungarian that translated to “Forbidden Knowledge”.
However, this Velazquez is far more skilled at cryptography and the cracking thereof. It is likely that this is not actually because Velazquez knows more about cryptography, but because Velazquez is now more capable of understanding natural language. Velazquez has invented ciphers that the others can use; the Spies have been observed spending time matching the playing card decks in their standard-issue survival kits.
This version of Velazquez is also much more capable of computer programming that other people can use; similarly, this is unlikely to be because of any more raw skill, but because Velazquez no longer writes in bare-metal assembly code and now names the variables something useful.
This iteration of Velazquez has significantly more fluency in human communication, and has spent time studying the intricacies of spoken, signed, and written languages, as well as becoming increasingly capable of reading—and conveying information through—body language.
Signing to the ILB ensured that, regardless of the physical shape or composition of the rest of Velazquez's body, Velazquez had at least ten fingers. Subsequently, during the Season β8 elections, Velazquez was twice the beneficiary of the Replacement Elbows blessing, and so had two elbows implanted. After stringing two lengths of [REDACTED] between the origin of Velazquez's fingers and the now visible elbows to suggest the presence of forearms, Velazquez became capable of effectively communicating in sign language.
However, Velazquez still vastly prefers to use computing devices as communication aids, and to this day carries a TI-84 in a belt holster at all times.
The Spies were initially suspicious of this Alternated Velazquez, distrusting this iteration's theories on optimizing lineups and performance. However, over the seasons, the Spies warmed to Velazquez’s present iteration.
Alexandria Rosales regularly requests Velazquez's help cracking encryption, particularly appreciating the alternate's newfound skill in such fields as frequency analysis of natural languages.
Velazquez has been seen making physically affectionate gestures towards Fitzgerald Blackburn, which are often reciprocated; when asked for comment, both deny that such a change has occurred, and that even if it has, it does not mean anything.
Denzel Scott also eventually dropped the issue of Velazquez being an alternate. When asked what had prompted this attitudinal shift, Scott said, "We talked for a while. You know, life, love, metaphysics, sudoku-solving tactics." Scott and Velazquez are now regularly spotted making modem noises at each other while coordinating outfield defense.
Marco Escobar, however, remained skeptical of this iteration of Velazquez; Velazquez's alternation threw their theories about the prophetic potential of an unchanging cosmic linchpin into utter disarray, and Escobar claims that Velazquez voluntarily Alternated specifically to spite Escobar’s attempts to understand the nature of the universe.
A New Friendship
Season 11 of Blaseball saw the introduction of the Baltimore Crabs’ replacement team, the Tokyo Lift. After the Spies’ first game against the Lift, the team captain Stijn Strongbody stopped by the Spies’ locker room to invite Math Velazquez to stay at the Lift stadium for the night. When asked why, Strongbody stated that he had always had a fascination with advanced mathematics and wanted to get to know Velazquez.
This first meeting was the start of a strong friendship. Strongbody and Velazquez got along well, and were often seen spending time together when the Spies were in Tokyo or when the Lift traveled to Houston. The duo could be found puzzling over research papers, discussing and debating contradictions, or attempting to prove unsolved conjectures.
According to an anonymous source, when the Lift were visiting Houston, Velazquez went to visit Strongbody’s hotel and stayed there for several days. By the time another Spy paid a visit to see what was going on, Math and Stijn were both passed out over a table cluttered with paper, and had to be physically removed from the room despite both their protests about the problem still being unsolved.
Outside of frantic and brief meetings between games, the two remained in contact with each other. Strongbody was seen texting Velazquez asking for help with various mathematics puzzles, and Velazquez reportedly secured access to several Tokyo-area university libraries. The two teams viewed their friendship with admiration, a sign of the league finally coming together after the Discipline Era.
Expansion Era Losses
The incinerations of Theodore Holloway and Son Scotch at the beginning of the Expansion Era made the already quiet Math Velazquez even less willing to engage with the world, with Velazquez spending whole days unmoving and unresponsive, an occurrence Velazquez referred to as “staring at the wall”. At Fitzgerald Blackburn’s request, other Spies took shifts sitting nearby to keep the catatonic Velazquez company.
After Stijn Strongbody’s incineration, the Spies received a large envelope in the mail, stuffed full of “his old notes”. Several months later, a paper appeared in the Annals of Blaseball Research, with Velazquez and Strongbody listed as co-authors.
Consumers & Shadowing
During the season 20 playoffs, Velazquez was subject to two Consumer attacks. Velazquez’s total star rating fell precipitously, leading to Velazquez making jokes about being “literally halved”.
The entire team agreed that Velazquez would have to be Shadowed to recover. Velazquez said goodbye to the team, with everyone expecting Velazquez's stay in the Shadows to be long-term.
However, Velazquez would be called up again less than a season later. In season 21, Voicemails were offered as a renovation and then immediately Ratified. Velazquez was voicemailed several times over the next few seasons, slowly recovering stars with the shadowdips. Velazquez expressed relief at not having to play the whole season, and stated that Velazquez was "using that extra time to do some research. Classified research, of course."