Houston Spies

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The Houston Spies are a blaseball team in the Awful Evil division of the Evil Conference, where they have been since the start of the Coronation Era. They began in the Chaotic Evil division of the Evil League, before moving to the Wild Low division of the Wild League in Season β8. The Spies have been a part of Internet League Blaseball since Season β1.

Roster

Current Era

Lineup Rotation
Shadows


Expansion Era

Lineup Rotation
Shadows


Former Players

Incinerations

Feedback Swaps

Blessings and Trades

Phantom Thieves' Guild Heists

Season Results

Full Seasonal changes and election results are available on season pages.

The Discipline Era (Season β1-β11)

The Discipline Era
Season Wins Record Postseason Election
β1 53 53-46 🐅 2-3 🕵️ N/A
🕵️ 0-3 🥧
β2 46 46-53 N/A N/A
β3 49 49-50 N/A
β4 37 37-62 N/A
β5 43 43-56 N/A
  • Gained +  Blood Winner as a result of High Filter.
β6 42 42-57 N/A
β7 49 49-50 N/A
β8 58 58-41 🌞 0-3 🕵️
🦀 3-1 🕵️
β9 64 64-35 🕵️ 3-1 🌹
🦀 3-1 🕵️
β10 60 60-39 💋 3-2 🕵️
β11 59 59-41 🕵️ 2-0 🌹
🌞 3-(-1) 🕵️

The Expansion Era (Season β12-β24)

The Expansion Era
Season Wins Record Postseason Election
β12 49 49-50 N/A
β13 62 62-37 🔥 3-2 🕵️
β14 49 49-50 N/A
β15 45 45-54 N/A
β16 58 57-42 🐌 3-4 🕵️
🔥 3-2 🕵️
β17 58 58-41 🚤 3-0 🕵️
β18 61 61-38 🕵️ 1-2 🌞
  • Trust Fall granted every team in the league + Tgb turntables.png Turntables.
  • Ratification took every team's Turntables and, if they had one, Hotel Motel, instead making them apply to the league as a whole.
  • Won Inexplicable, granting Alexandria Rosales +  Undefined.
  • Won Fax Numbers, slightly boosting or reducing the pitching of each shadowed player on the Spies at random.
  • Won Shadow Bat Supply Run, granting bats to the entirety of the Spies' shadowed players.
  • Won Sanctified, sorting the Spies' Lineup by descending Divinity.
  • The Spies Alternate Trust Yrjö Kerfuffle, rerolling their stats as well as granting them +  Alternate and +  Negative.
  • The Spies Foreshadow Yrjö Kerfuffle, sending them to the shadows for Sosa Hayes, who took their place on the Lineup.
  • Jasper Blather roamed to the end of the Lineup from the Mexico City Wild Wings.
β19 (-57) 59-40 N/A
β20 72 70-29 🕵️ 3-1 🚤
🕵️ 3-2 🌮
🛠️ 3-2 🕵️
β21 59 48-51 🐌 0-2 🕵️
🌮 3-0 🕵️
β22 53 41-58 🕵️ 2-0 🐌
🐅 2-3 🕵️
🕵️ 2-3 🚤
β23 68 57-42 N/A
β24 0 0-0 N/A
  • Due to the Nulification of the League, no Election occured in Season β24.

The Coronation Era (Season 1-2)

The Coronation Era
Season Wins Record Postseason Election
1 46 46-44 N/A
2 27 27-63 N/A
  1. The blessing in question actually boosted division members Baserunning by 10%, contrary to the writing of the blessing.


Team Overview

The Houston Spies are an ordinary Blaseball team and, despite rumors, tie-in merchandise, press statements, and government reports to the contrary, are not a front, cover, extension, or subsidiary of any kind of extragovernmental shadowy spy Agency. They may or may not be from Houston.

The unique advantages, increased social access, and special metaphysical status of a Blaseball player can prove highly useful for sensitive or difficult missions, and so no expense is spared on ensuring their well-being. Spies have access to extensive resources such as a staff psychologist, cutting-edge splorts equipment, access to almost any Agency resource (if the right papers are filed), and a surprising amount of personal privacy.

It has been noted that Spies players are generally referred to using they/them pronouns (with the notable exception of Math Velazquez).

Origins

It is unclear why the Agency decided to register the Houston Spies as a Blaseball team, when visible famous athletes would compromise security.

Some theories include:

  • The Agency just wanted an ordinary blaseball team, for perfectly normal reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with spywork at all.
  • It was an accident; the Houston Spies were supposed to be registered as the Houston Spiders. By the time this error was discovered, the uniforms had already been made, the stadium had been built, and the marketing had already been started. So they decided to just go along with it.
  • Ticket sales, licensing, and merchandise bring in a lot of money. This money is incredibly useful to fund operations.
  • Blaseball players are afforded a great deal of access to areas and sources that would be extremely difficult to get into otherwise.
  • It was a surprise birthday present to the Director.
  • The Agency’s internal blaseball team had gotten tired of playing against themselves.
  • The Spies are just distractions from the real agents.

Stadium

The name and location (and, some argue, quantity) of the Houston Spies' stadium are highly classified. It can be reached through an unknown number of secret entrances found all over Houston, Texas, and is notable for its eclectic mix of architectural styles, most prominently Brutalist.

Uniform and Equipment

Like all splorts fans, fans of the Houston Spies, also known as agents, show their team affiliation through choice of clothing. An agent's outfit characteristically lacks that classic piece of Hollywood spy costuming, the trench coat, because spies are most effective when they are least recognized. The team periodically issues press releases reminding the public that no one wearing a trench coat can possibly be actively engaged in espionage and therefore you should not be concerned about their presence in restricted areas reading your classified files. They're probably just a tourist.

For branding purposes, however, Houston Spies wear trench coats—or clothing technically classifiable as trench coats—while playing, in accordance with the Houston Spies player manual, which, when deciphered and unredacted, dedicates no less than 37 pages to the team dress code and its assorted clauses, subclauses, superclauses, paraclauses, flowcharts, diagrams, and 8x10 glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each. This is obfuscatory, as there are two requirements:

  1. Wear one or more trench coats while playing.
  2. Wear one or more hats, each of which coordinates with one or more of the trench coats, while playing.

Agents are encouraged to file reports of dress code violations in their nearest dead drop.

For most players, the most common cause of dress code violation is removing their "trench coat(s)" as a threatening, dramatic, or practical move when initiating melee combat.

Despite the ultimately bare-bones requirements of the team dress code, it's not uncommon to observe a Houston Spies player wearing a tasteful classic gray baseball outfit with Spies-purple pinstripes, a matching tie with gold tie pin, and charcoal gray suspenders and socks. No one has yet claimed the credit for this outfit (carefully tailored to fit each player's body and clothing preferences) appearing in Spies players' lockers, dressers, closets, and dreams, but Reese Clark has noted that wearing it when playing is "easier than doing my own laundry." The back of each shirt features a black rectangle that removable letters and numbers can be affixed to.

Bats

Upon joining the team, Spies are issued a special league-cleared "Blaseball bat" consisting of a magnifying glass with an outsized solid wooden handle to use to hit the ball. They are not required to use this bat; during their time as batter, Alexandria Rosales used their sword, and Son Scotch uses the whiffle bat they used in the park when you taught them to play Blaseball as parent-son bonding time. Nor are they required to use the bat as intended: when he was on the team, Evelton McBlase II was known to sometimes swing the lens end at the ball like a tennis racket; it's unclear whether that was intentional.

Mascot

The Spies mascot is randomly selected. Before each game, a classified number of admission tickets contain a mission to - should the ticket-holder choose to accept it - enter a backstage area, upon which the admittee is presented with a vast library of outfits, disguise makeup, voice changers, fursuit heads, and so on, and may assemble their own mascot costume out of whatever parts they wish. They will then play the role of the mascot for that game. Exemplary performances may be rewarded with REDACTED or a $10 gift card to Spies-R-Us.

How this comprehensive disguise room is transported to away games is classified. According to independent measurements, the interior of the room is slightly too large to fit inside a standard shipping container.

Management

What divisions, departments, or members of the Agency are responsible for managing the Houston Spies team is highly classified information—classified enough that it's unclear whether they even exist. However, the team's tie-in animated children's television show features Manager, a radio speaker in the team's locker room which communicates through pieced-together garbled radio transmissions that are then interpreted by the team. Leaked documents have confirmed the presence of a radio speaker in the player's locker room. It appears to be programmed to tune into the space between registered channels, apparently at random; if this is the team's manager, however, it has yet to make a press appearance and its pronouncements are not as respected and obeyed as its animated counterpart's.

Memorials

Players that have been 'incinerated' by Blaseball terminology standards are considered MIA (Missing In Action) rather than KIA (Killed In Action). Their files are updated to reflect this change and a Burn Notice is issued to the other teams to update their records. Their names are laser-etched into a sheet of black rock, which is kept in a hermetically-sealed room to avoid further tampering. In the event that any incinerated Spies player returns to corporeal form, this record can be expunged at the touch of a button.

For security and privacy reasons, the Spies do not maintain public memorial sites. However, burning one's offerings to the dead leaves no identifiable evidence, and there is a legend that "the smoke will find them". Thus, by tradition, specific incineration chutes located around An Undisclosed Location often receive specific types of gifts, such as one located at REDACTED that receives a disproportionate amount of plastic toys and grade-school workbooks.

Transfer Policy

Given large amounts of photographic evidence of other Blaseball players clearly having extensive contact with existing Agents (by playing Blaseball with or against them), the Agency did not originally distinguish between transfers who knew of the Agency and transfers who did not. Players transferred from other teams were considered to be activated sleeper agents or burned double agents regardless of their own opinions on the matter or contradictory evidence. Similarly, players that were sent to other teams were often also considered to be double agents working on behalf of the Spies. Evidence to the contrary, such as exceptionally skillful playing in opposition to the Houston Spies, was understood as cover identity maintenance. This literal impossibility of disproving someone's speculated secret allegiance to the Houston Spies could have been be the origin of the Spies chant "We could be me! We could be you!"

By the Expansion Era, however, the Agency learned that it was expedient to allow transfers to at least claim that they have had no previous contact with the Agency before, despite the reams of evidence that they clearly already have extensive connections to the Houston Spies as a team. New players are now tested extensively on their talents and capabilities, and then added to the list of Agents available.

Theories

Given the Spies' love of secrecy, concrete information about anything not publicly visible—such as uniforms or equipment—is hard to come by. Below are a number of rumors, theories, counter-theories, and rebuttals issued by agents.

  • Theory: The Spies HQ is in the Spies stadium, which is in Houston.
    • Countertheory: The Spies HQ and/or the Spies stadium is in outer space.
      • Evidence of Countertheory: During the third season afterparty hosted by the San Francisco Lovers, Reese Clark dropped a receipt for a significant quantity of rocket fuel.
        • Counterevidence of countertheory: When pressed, Clark stated that there were "a lot of uses for rocket fuel" and refused to elaborate further.
    • Theory revision proposal: At least one Spies HQ is in at least one Spies stadium, at least one of which is in Houston.
      • Revision proposal request for clarification: Does there exist at least one Spies stadium in Houston which contains at least one Spies HQ?
        • Response to revision proposal request for clarification: [REDACTED].
  • Theory: The Spies team naturally attracts genderfluid and otherwise nonbinary players, due to its longstanding tradition of mostly using they/them pronouns.
    • Countertheory: Spies players use a variety of pronouns for themselves, but the Agency has classified this personal information for security purposes.
      • Counterevidence of countertheory: If this were true, it would be stated in the Spies Identity Elements Classification document.
        • Counter-counterevidence of countertheory: It might well be; the Spies Identity Elements Classification document is too heavily classified to make a determination.
          • [REDACTED] of countertheory: My clearance is high enough to know that it says [REDACTED].
    • Countertheory: Spies players frequently change genders for personal, security, and mission-based reasons and use they/them pronouns to avoid spending vast amounts of time updating gendered references in personnel files.
      • Countertheory: Time spent having a gender is time that could be better spent practicing Blaseball.
  • Theory: Trench coats are designed for, or come from, the "trench" the Hall Monitor mentioned following Jaylen Hotdogfingers from.
    • Countertheory: The Monitor has nothing to do with the Spies and the name of the trench coat is a coincidence.
      • Counterevidence of countertheory: There is no such thing as coincidence.
      • Counter-countertheory: The Monitor had nothing to do with the Spies (but has since been recruited).
    • Counterevidence of theory: The Director has issued a press release stating that there is no connection between the dress code requirements that Spies players wear trench coats and the being claiming to be from a place called the Trench.
      • Counter-counterevidence of theory: Oh, well if the Director said it it must be true.
  • Theory: Letters are velcroed to the back of the Spies' "uniforms" in case of name or number change.
    • Counter-theory: Letters are velcroed to the back of the Spies' "uniforms" in case of player change.
      • Counterevidence of countertheory: They're customized to the player, size, design elements, and all. They can't be reused for new players.
    • I don't know the right format for this but it's not actually that complicated? This way is easier to wash. - Spies Laundry Intern
      • Counter-theory: Well if a Spies intern said it, it must be true.

Fan Culture

For a more in-depth look at the Spies' fan culture, see Houston Spies/Fan Culture.

Select Chants

Athlimasmologists have documented numerous Spies chants, both for the whole team and a few for individual players. By far the most popular Spies chant is "We could be you! We could be me!" Some suspect this to be  a reference to the Spies' historical usage of double agents, though Spies management insists these tactics are a thing of the past. Other classic Spies chants include "Houston... we are the Problem," "Bang BANG" and, in hushed whispers, the phrase "Spies win."

On the Material Plane

  • Prior to Season 1, a baseball [sic] team on Houston’s material plane was found stealing signs from opposing teams, and banging a trash can to signal their batter about upcoming pitches. It is not known whether the operation was inspired by the Spies’ team slogan, or how many Spies agents were providing extradimensional assistance with the plan.

Fan Works

Have more Spies fan art? Add it here and at Houston Spies/Fan Art!

External Links