The Confederacy of Sentient Beings was an alliance of extraterrestrial species. It had three qualifications for admitting a new species: 1) to develop controlled nuclear energy; 2) to begin to explore outer space, and 3) to begin to master their minds and control objects directly.
The Confederacy became aware of Earth, and knew that humans had met the first two qualifications. They sent a scout to Earth, who, in the guise of Michael, became part of a beer-league softball team called the Gators. During his time with the Gators, he met a player nick-named Dr Strangeglove, who grandly described the knuckle-balls he threw as "mind over matter". Michael misunderstood, believing that humans had developed psychokinetic powers, and immediately reported to the Confederacy.
The Confederacy revealed themselves weeks later, in a set of messages broadcast to Earth from somewhere around Uranus. Dr Strangeglove was worried what would happen when the Confederacy learned that humans hadn't developed psychokinesis.