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Pitch 1.02: Ginny, Ginny, Ginny

© by Vulture

 

She may be an overnight sensation to the sports world, but it’s going to take Ginny Baker a little longer to find out how she fits in on the team, how she juggles that with her platform as the first female MLB player, and on top of it all, just playing the damn game.

To say it’s a little overwhelming may be a gross understatement.

But while the world is still trying to dictate who Ginny is, making her into a legend, a spokeswoman for all female athletes and an icon for women everywhere, Ginny’s focus is just on being one of the guys.

Which sometimes means waving off comments like manager Al’s about her being “easy on the eyes” two years before she joined the team and leaking to the news just now.

Which sometimes means deflecting comments about being a woman in the locker room, amidst news reports of a track star elsewhere who was assaulted in the locker room.

Which sometimes means paying bartenders off to change the channel from news stations talking about her, and how the boys on the Padres need to stop crying about “Ginnsanity.”

Ginny’s just trying to fit in, and everyone else has something to say about all of it.

Ginny “One Of The Guys” Baker

While the world is obsessing over “Ginnsanity” and the drama with that – locker room brawls, manager Al’s years old comments about Ginny’s beautiful looks, general gross sexism – Ginny is focusing on one thing aside from her fastball.

Being part of the team.

And while things are better, they’re slowly getting there. Lawson and her may be Dottie and Jimmy like best friends, and Blip may still be an old pal – but that doesn’t mean everyone else is quick to follow suit. Few by few, they come around – she comes out for post-game drinks, even enduring stupid boy questions and bets like, “Have you ever hooked up with another player?” Rolled my eyes real hard.

But Ginny took it in stride, made it a joke. She wants to belong; she wants to be one of them without realizing that she can be part of the team and be Ginny, too.

But she pushes against the rest. She’s willing to put out a statement forgiving Al – who may, indeed, deserve that – and she’s willing to keep silent when it comes to other female athlete issues and cases, if it means drawing less attention to herself and being better friends with the team. She’s working twice as hard in the gym and on the field to prove it to them that she belongs there, to prove her worth, and she wants to do that off the field, too.

But is that all she is? Just another one of the guys?

Ginny “The Feminist Icon” Baker

Chief among those in the peanut gallery: her agent Amelia, who reminds Ginny to keep her brand in mind, who reminds her that there is a bigger picture – no matter how much Ginny pushes back against that.

This episode, we get a few flashbacks to pre-Padres Ginny Baker and how Amelia and her became the dynamic lady duo they are. Amelia may have been way out of her league at a baseball game, but from the start, she saw the potential in representing Ginny – and nothing would stand in her way.

Not even Ginny’s brother Will, her first agent.

Because Amelia says back then what Ginny would mean to the world. She went to one game and saw half of a ballpark filled with little girls, stars in their eyes as they looked at Ginny.

And with that image, she also pushes to make Ginny not so forgiving of sexist comments made about her. Ginny may be avoiding confrontation to fit in on the team, but Amelia is looking at the big picture – and even goes as far as not to respect Ginny’s wishes to release a statement forgiving Al’s comments.

But she has a point. Ginny may reject it, may want just to play the sport she loves – but the world is watching her, and with great power comes great responsibility. It’s not fair to put a megaphone to her when she doesn’t want it, sure, but the Padres uniform came with a platform, and to not use it would be a waste.

Throughout the episode, news clips are shown about a case of a track star who was assaulted in the locker room, and some reporters question what Ginny Baker would have to say about it. Rachel* (coincidentally also Lawson’s cheating ex-wife) even corners her after a game, telling her she has a responsibility to speak up on the issue, to talk about it.

And while I’m #TeamGinny and I loved Ginny throwing back a “how dare you put that on me” at her, I can’t help but wonder if she has a point.

It’s a lot, and clearly, the stress is getting to Ginny when she starts realizing she can’t ever just be one of the guys. She’s not, and that’s just how it is. She’s Ginny Baker, ball player, and first professional female ball player. It comes with responsibility, and her silence would speak volumes, too.

Swallowing the celebrity pill isn’t an easy one for her.

Just Ginny Baker

By the end of the episode, it seems she’s decided she can just be Ginny.

She can be one of the guys, but she’s also Ginny Baker, icon. She goes on Jimmy Kimmel, and rather than do a Ginny’s locker room decorating game; she takes the chance to speak instead, wanting to address a few things. For one, she’s defending Al – because she knows him, and knows that despite some less than perfect comments, he is good. He cares, and he made some mistakes with comments. She’ll forgive them.

And then, she addresses the locker room issue, the issue of female athletes and assault. Because somewhere along the line, whether it was Rachel* or Amelia or Lawson, who knows – something, someone hit her, and she delivers one of the most powerful lines of the show.

We don’t need to make sure that every girl goes into the right room. We need to make sure every boy knows it’s wrong to rape.

While she’s knocking the world out with some fast pitches worth of words, Lawson is back in the locker room with the team, snapping – finally. The episode focused heavily on Lawson, too, and his deteriorating knees, his tired attitude and his questioning what he’s even doing anymore.

But Ginny? Ginny reminds me, just a little, what it is to love the game, to work hard, to want to be good.

And he lectures the team on being better, on stepping it up, on acting like professionals – and, yeah, they’ll do it with a cute girl on the team.

Because she works harder than them, and it’s time they stepped it up to her level, if you ask Lawson.

Will it make her one of the guys overnight? Probably not. But Lawson’s leaderly words struck a chord with all of us at home, at least.

In the end, Ginny can be more than a ball player. Ginny can be a feminist role model, and a ball player, and one of the guys and one of the girls. 
And now, she knows that, too.

Written by Caitlin Walsh

Uncool. Mostly winging it. I cry happy tears at cute animal videos. Sometimes I tweet things I think might be funny. Laugh with/at me @cwalsh93.

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  1. Makes my heart happy you’re the one doing ‘PITCH’, Caitlin! We keep coming across the same ones. 😛 Like your breakdown of this episode. Interesting how you format it too — as in the three “Ginnys” so to speak. I thought it was far more compelling as an episode that explored the backstories – e.g. of Mike and especially of Amelia — but you’re right in that it showcased us in a typically cheesy ‘PITCH’ way these sides to Ginny. One thing I had to ask: so what *was* your conclusion on Rachel’s question, and Ginny’s consequential answer? You say in the review you think Rachel may have a point (and Ginny’s response was that it was nobody’s to put that responsibility on her). For example I’d agree with Ginny–because the whole ep as you point out so eloquently is that she’s toeing this line between “Ginnsanity” and herself–her true self. So whilst Ginny may be a rolemodel for many, and that is not by choice, your qualm over Rachel’s question interests me. Do you think Rachel had any valid point to actively pin that responsibility on Ginny? It’s happening (that responsibility) regardless–but your comment on it was an interesting viewpoint!

    I agree with that line you quote as being the most powerful one on the show. I think I said the exact same thing!

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