Clip It: Each day, Jon Davis looks at the world of trailers, featurettes, and clips and puts it all in perspective.
What would it take for a woman to become a Major League player? What I enjoyed about this Pitch trailer is its all presented in a realistic way. Ginny Baker (Kylie Bunbury) doesn't have magical powers like move Rookie of the Year, in which a kid gets in an accident and is blessed with a strong arm that lands him a job with the Cubs. Ginny's father breaks it down when she's a young girl. She might be a great pitcher but biologically speaking, she's not going to have a fastball that will work in the MLB. So she's going to need a “secret weapon:” the screwball.
A screwball is a pitch designed to break in the opposite direction of a curveball or curveball. Which means that a batter's eyes will get tricked, swinging at a pitch he thinks is one thing but turns out to be another. That makes sense. This kind of pitch doesn't deteriorate the arm as quickly as if she were a hard charging 95 -100 mph thrower, which would be impossible anyway. If you're a team that needs an injection of energy, she's a good September call up.
Is it a coincidence that the pitcher who she replaced — it appears he was moved to the bullpen and not demoted to Triple A – looks like Red Sox pitch Clay Buchholz? (Perhaps not coincidentally, Clay was recently moved to the bullpen.)
Clay Buchholz is right when he tells Ginny the other teams have scouts who are going to figure out her “trick pitch.” If she's only throwing screwball, batters are going to be sitting screwball, and then she's batting practice. My suggestion. Develop a knuckler. That's another pitch that doesn't depend on arm strength. A knuckleball is a pitch where the ball doesn't spin as much in light, and as a result, the ball does all these weird unpredictable yips in the air that can leave batters completely baffled.
It wouldn't hurt to get some help from Pedro Martinez (also not a tall pitcher), the artiste whose signature pitch, the change-up – it used to be known as a slowball in the olden days – would come of out his hand looking so much like a fastball, he'd have hitters flailing and falling over themselves. Of course, he also had a killer fastball, too. Look, Ginny isn't going to be Pedro Martinez, okay? It's amazing enough that she's in The Show, let's not put that kind of pressure on her.
Another important lesson that baseball imparts to us all, failure is built into the game. If you get on base just a third of the time, you are elite batter. If you allow three runs in five innings, you are a quality pitcher. You have to endure disappointment in order to be a success. Like life! That's why she shouldn't let her first appearance where she craps the bed get to her.