Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Yeah. I got more to say.

The Real Problem with Pitch Part 2

Oh yeah. I have more words about Fox’s Pitch and the, literal, fumbling of the ball. When I last left off we had just learned the San Diego Padres have the most innefective and useless minor league organization in the history of professional baseball.  How else can we explain the fact that only one player of the Padres’ 25-man active roster had ever played with rookie pitcher Ginny Baker in the last five years?

The show, through a toss-away line of dialogue, even told us she was in Double-A three years before and that’s the only reason she’d played with the one guy, one Blip Sanders. Baker has just been called up from Triple-A El Paso and, apparently, is the first such player to make that transition at this point in the entire season.

Now, again, all it would take to show that is ludicrous is a simple Google search. Maybe something like, “San Diego Padres Transactions.” Baseball teams move players constantly, because of injuries or just because of any damn reason. They do whatever they feel like doing, but as that transaction list shows, they do a lot.

But there’s a bigger, dumber problem, than even pretending the Padres’ minor league system is a cancerous black hole. It’s that every single player and coach in an organization, across all levels, attends spring training together. They eventually get split up, but for most of camp, they’re all together. This is, literally, one of the most basic tenets of the sport. The very concept of “Spring Training” is synonymous with baseball and this show just pretends it doesn’t happen at all.

I want to backtrack a moment to a line of dialogue that happened in the hallway between Ginny and the Padres owner because it exemplifies, in detail, the main problem with the show.

After she tells the owner her teammates aren’t, in fact, excited to meet her, she then spills this little gem.

“Seventy-five percent think I’m the next San Diego Chicken, the other 25 just want to see me shower and I bet your manager thinks you should have called up Walker instead of me.”

The first part of the sentence is easy to decipher, that she feels a good portion of her teammates will think she’s a clown or has been called up for show and publicity. It’s the second and third pieces of that dialogue that I take issue with.

If you want to see a lot of penises, get into sportswriting. Whether you like it or not, especially covering professional sports, you’re going to see plenty of penises in your day and nobody gives a shit. I’ve worked with women and when we head back to the locker room to get quotes, they don’t care and neither do the players. The idea that Ginny, a professional baseball player, would give a single thought to the shower situation is mind blowing. I can tell you, definitively, that she would have been forced to shower completely by herself after the men were done all the way through her minor league career or, more likely, showered with them and, again, not a single shit would be given.

And, listen, Kylie Bunbury is a beautiful woman and I’m sure when the writers came up with that, their bikini areas were all aflutter at the idea of her taking a shower in front of dudes. But I can tell you from experience covering the Tennessee Smokies (Chicago Cubs Double-A team) that beautiful women are all over the place, especially in the friends and family areas outside the clubhouse. Ginny would just be one of the thousands of beautiful women throwing themselves at handsome and rich professional athletes. But they wouldn’t care because she was their teammate and they’d crossed that whole shower line back in rookie ball in Arizona. I mean, do I have to start Googling MLB WAGS for God’s sake? Because I will. I won’t finish this article, but I will do that.

The third part of that bit of dialogue that irks me is “your manager.” He’s her manager, not the owner’s manager and she sure as shit would know and use the guy’s name even if I don’t (it’s the dad from Wonder Years). She would have known him for years, personally, because of Spring F–king Training, if nothing else.

So we’re all of seven minutes into the pilot and my brain has already melted out of my ears.

Now, I’m not going to talk about any of the drama or “ass slapping” events in the pilot. That’s just TV stuff, other than to just say her meltdown in her first start was shockingly lame and melodramatic.

The problem I have is that there’s no way she could be a starter in the major leagues even under the most dreamlike scenario. Ginny, like I said in part one, is 5-8 and 128. A starting pitcher is just a different beast physically. Her vagina wouldn’t keep her from starting, her size, weight and arm strength would. The Padres, at this very moment, have one pitcher under 6-1 and it’s reliever Kirby Yates (5-10, 210).  Their starting rotation is Jhoulys Cacin (6-3, 215), Clayton Richard (6-5, 240), Jarred Cosart (6-3, 206) and Luis Perdomo (6-2, 185). To do what a starting pitcher has to do, for the length of time he’s expected to do it, just takes certain physical attributes. Ginny doesn’t have them. Hell, Kirby doesn’t have them. That’s why he’s a middle reliever.

And that’s exactly what the real Ginny Baker would be. She would still be a trailblazer and the first female major league pitcher, but she’d also be a junk-ball throwing set up guy who would rarely be called on to pitch more than an inning. If she was a lefty (and she’s not), she would probably get used more, getting spot outs against right-handed batters with runners on the bags. Her specialty would be dirt ball double plays and she’d rarely record a strikeout. There’s a career to be had there.

Would it have been an interesting show? Who knows, but the jury is already out on the ridiculous baseball version we got in Pitch. The show was cancelled after 10 episodes. Just a word of advice for next time, when you make a show about baseball, do it in a way baseball fans can actually enjoy.

Fun fact: Sarah Hudek, the real-life female pitcher I mentioned in part one, has since switched to softball and earned a full ride scholarship from Texas A&M. She didn’t pitch in 2016, but did bat .281 as an every day starter in the outfield with 15 doubles, four home runs and 32 RBIs.

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About Adam Greene

Adam Greene is a sportswriter, photographer and humorist. You can email him (and you should) at

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  • pilight

    I like Pitch quite a bit, but I agree they fumbled some of the baseball stuff. The notion that none of the players had met her either in the minors or at Spring Training was particularly grating.

    For a fun challenge, rewatch the season and guess how old Blip is supposed to be.

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