Ginny Has A Giant Problem On Pitch
And while she's bracing for the release of those hacked selfies on the team's San Fran road trip, the call-up of Lawson's replacement sends him into a flashback tailspin.
Another capital-I baseball Issue, another wasted opportunity to explore said Ish by spending more than one episode on it. This time, it's
Yasiel Puig Livan Duarte, the Cuban phenom Oscar flew to Europe to sign, and his bat-flippy, insufficiently "old-school" take on preparation and gameplay. With rock-ribbed baseball conservative C.J. Nitkowski on the show's consulting squad, it's no surprise that "San Francisco" takes every opportunity to paint Duarte as a selfish, clueless playboy who doesn't get it.
It's also no surprise that the same show that wants us to side with Lawson and Oscar against El Tardío expects us at the same time to believe that Ginny doesn't know who Wally Pipp is. Or that she's never relieved before.
"San Francisco" is an okay hour of TV; usually I'd grumble about all the establishing shots of the city, but AT&T Park is my second favorite, and while Luongo Explains It All For You and Lawson, Kimesian Tween Grifter storylines are eye-rollers, the men tasked with selling them in the present day do a great job.
While I contemplate whether to add an "Amelia Outfit Watch" category, to the Show-O-Matic, let's look at how Pitch-y this episode of Pitch got.
|Sports-radio issue du jour||Hacked selfies; an aging vet, specifically a banged-up catcher, forced to vacate the dish for a younger and less concussed model; Latinx players' "enthusiasm" vs. the dopey unwritten rules, and whether Cuban stars' physically and psychically torturous paths to the majors excuse a certain cluelessness about how it works in the big show.|
|Show is the worst at accurate||This is probably more of a "show is the worst at describe" issue, actually, and "San Francisco" held it together better than usual for a while, even dropping what I saw as some subtle commentary about overmanaging one's bullpen as Luongo marched through his entire bullpen in extra innings.
And then..."Ginny Baker battles out of the jam!" It was...a single pitch. One she hesitated to throw but got a double play on thanks to Duarte's intel about the batter.
|Ginny acts like it's her first day||Maybe clocking her for Wally Pipp is unfair, because Ginny points out that she was born in '92, and I'd thought to point out in turn that she'd have heard the name in connection with the publicity surrounding Ripken breaking Gehrig's record...but that happened earlier than I remembered, in '95. That said, I feel like Pipp's name is kind of out there in the world, as a larger metaphor...and even if it isn't, Lawson's right: watch some Ken Burns, lady.
But there's no grading on a curve for Ginny's flabbergastation when her starts get skipped; her naive "It's my body; it's my damn business!" when Amelia's trying to get her to manage the selfie sitch; or for the look of determined anxiety she adopts when it's time for her to warm up for her first-ever relief appearance.
I think I've said before that she'd likely have come up as a long reliever in the first place IRL, but the idea that she would never have been used this way is just weird to me.
|Shut up, product placement||This promotion of ESPN Mag's Body Issue is an outrage!
...That I will protest from my bunk!
|Timeline follies||The show's total apathy re: dressing Santé Lawson like a 1990 woman aside, I think the numbers more or less add up, although there's zero chance someone at Deadspin wouldn't have outed Lawson's secret dad the minute he made his first All-Star team, if not before.|
|Clank clank clank goes the dialogue||"This could help prolong your career!", Luongo tells Lawson, because catchers have never played first base a few games a year, or moved there permanently, before. Ginny's anecdote about Jackie Robinson and the black cat, as well as Oscar's speech about Duarte's journey from Cuba: not how people talk, though the actors come close to selling their monologues.|
|Ghost Dad alert!||I'm a little surprised not to learn Secret Dad sold Ghost Dad his truck or something, given the tie-ins to other flashbacks, but no GD this week.|
|Hey: no one cares||Barf, the peeking through the curtain at the ESPN photo shoot. A quick scan of Twitter tells me most viewers are into "Bawson," and I should just get right with it, I guess. Sigh.|
|Mark-Paul Gosselaar saves a scene||Honorable mention for his tossed-off "Livan just learned English; go talk to him," and he's quite good in that wouldn't-happen bit where he pretends to interpret for Duarte and then drops a string of presser subtweets on him about his attitude to the journos. But Gosselaar really shines selling this soapy rocky-childhood plot, and the alienation he's feeling, despite this revelation about his family not really tracking with the character as written to date.
At least the sense that the catcher position is his only home, one he set up in because Secret Dad stressed its importance back in the day, isn't underlined too hard.
|Nice feminism, jeez||I scribbled an irritated note about Blip offering to teach her ex "about internet security the hard way," but Ginny shut that down seconds later, for that reason.|
|Shut-in statheads live in their mom's basements||Amelia's reference to "small-minded bloggers in their tighty-whities" is duly noted -- and she's half right, but I'm wearing Mets-blue Hanky Panky boy shorts thankyouverymuch.|
|7 / 11
The Panic In AT&T Park