We’re almost halfway through the first season of Pitch, and already Ginny Baker has gotten more development than some of the characters show with season-plus seasons (looking at you, Arrow). After spending five episodes placing obstacle after obstacle in Ginny’s path, the writers finally had her break down and realise that maybe this lifestyle isn’t exactly what she wants.
Not the baseball part of it, no. That part she still likes. But the part where she’s constantly in the spotlight, constantly smiling for the cameras, constantly thinking about her public image. The part where the entire world sees her as some sort of feminist icon, comparable to some of the most famous trailblazers in history.
Yeah, that part’s no fun.
The flashbacks begin with Ginny finalising an endorsement deal with Nike that will net her tens of millions of dollars – without a doubt, more money than Ginny ever expected to get playing baseball. They give her new cleats and new glove to replace the one her dad gave her before he died (and remember: athletes are some of the most superstitious beings on the planet. You don’t just tell an athlete that better equipment is going to improve their game).
And then, they play the ad, and it’s extremely clear that Ginny is not at all okay with it. It’s a mix of the typical over dramatic sports advertisement, with slow-motion, staring into the camera and dramatic voice-over. But it’s also about more than sports, as Ginny is treated like an important political figure, compared to the likes of the first black player in the MLB, the first woman in space, and even Barack Obama, the first black president.
It’s easy to see why this bothers Ginny. She’s just an athlete. In her mind, she doesn’t do anything for the world besides petty entertainment. That’s not entirely true, because sports influences real life, but can’t be easy for Ginny to be lumped in with such big names when, to be honest, she hasn’t been spectacular in her first few games.
When I saw the synopsis for this episode, I assumed Ginny running off to a party would be hugely detrimental to her career and public image, but the team’s reaction surprised me in the best way possible.
From the looks of it, fans are more amused than outraged about Ginny’s night of rebellion. Amelia was angry, but understanding. And best of all, the team executives made the right call, in asking a psychiatrist to deal with Ginny in their place.
While the last few episodes have driven home the idea that sports is a business, and that players’ personal lives are not nearly as important as team success, this one proved that the team still cares about the people on the field. Yes, in a way they want Ginny to be in good mental health because she is instrumental to the team and their marketing, but you could see during their meeting that they genuinely cared. They were worried, but didn’t know what to do. Do you punish her and risk putting even more stress on her, or let her get off easy and not introduce any consequences for her actions? Is your marketing and team success more important than your athlete’s well-being?
But in the end, they figured out a nice compromise: Ginny’s team is there for her and want to help her as much as they can. She won’t get sent down, but she’s also losing privileges because of the dress.
I also liked that things weren’t all sorted out in one episode. Ginny unpacked her complicated past and opened up to a therapist, but that doesn’t mean she’s suddenly okay. She’ll have to work through it, and it’s going to be a long road. There’s no easy fix for this kind of problem.
Just doing my job
Let’s talk about Amelia, because she‘s starting to clash with pretty much every character on the show.
I love Amelia, and I love that she’s far from perfect. She’s smart and capable, but sometimes a little too demanding and not understanding enough. But I do hope that in future episodes she does a better job of seeing things from other people’s point of view.
She was a big part of the reason Ginny felt overwhelmed by all the media attention, expectations and pressure to perform. We also learned in this episode that she hasn’t been very understanding of Eliot’s situation, as he’s also had to uproot his life and make huge sacrifices for Ginny.
And then there’s the drama with Mike. I must admit I haven’t really been digging Mike’s story lines recently, especially since they’ve mostly revolved around a relationship that I, frankly, don’t really care about.
In this episode, they finally called it quits, as their relationship started to affect the team. Ginny got angry when she found out that Amelia had told Mike about her panic attack, and that was enough for them. Mike then went back to his ex-wife, declaring his love for her, and she had a very practical answer for him.
“You like chasing. You don’t like having.”
Which seems to align with most of what we’ve seen from Mike so far. To be honest, I hope both he and Amelia make up with Ginny, because I miss both of those friendships, and this relationship drama just isn’t doing it for me.
What else you got?
I love this line, because it’s so quintessentially Ginny. She’s running away from a fancy party, and she wants to cram as much fun as she possibly can into one night. What else can she do? She’s game for anything.
And then, in the middle of a PR nightmare, as she’s finally being forced to unpack her emotional baggage and acknowledge that she’s been having a really tough time lately, she finds out that the embarrassing pictures we learned about a few episodes ago have been leaked. The entire world knows she dated Trevor, a professional baseball player that she now has to compete against. And her reaction? What else you got?
Always game, always ready to take on the world. She has an extremely difficult job, it’s been getting to her, but that doesn’t change the fact that she is an extremely tough girl. She knows life is going to throw her plenty more curveballs (look, a baseball reference! I’m learning!), and she’s ready to deal with them all.
And that’s why she’s one of my favourite characters on television.
- One thing I, and a lot of other fans, have wanted Pitch to address from the beginning is the fact that Ginny Baker isn’t really the first woman, or even the first black woman, to ever play professional sports. I really liked how this tied into the story of this episode, since Ginny knows that she isn’t nearly as special as people think she is, and feels like she doesn’t deserve all this fame.
- “I’m gonna not excuse myself because I wanna hear this.” Oh Evelyn, you are a treasure.
- Okay, I know I’m not the only person who totally shipped Ginny/Cara. I really hope she comes back.
- I really liked Ginny’s conversation with the waitress in the car, because it showed a nice contrast between the two lifestyles. Ginny has lots of money and her whole life pretty much decided for her, unable to step out of the spotlight, whereas Cara doesn’t really know where she’s going. Each person wants what the other one has.
- “Have you seen Ginny?” “She’s all over the place.” “In person.”
Pitch airs Thursdays at 9pm on Fox.