Mike Lawson may have waived his no-trade clause, but he hasn’t left the Padres for the Cubs just yet — though that does nothing to really quell the speculation, both in the press and in the locker room. Of course, Mike proves to be no help whatsoever as he keeps his cards close to his chest, refusing to tell the rest of the team, and even Ginny, if the trade is taking place.
That still doesn’t stop Ginny from becoming a one-woman “Keep Mike Lawson a Padre” campaign, though. Mike remains unconvinced, insisting he wants that World Series ring. (Maybe he should try telling himself that, since he seems to be upset about something more than just leaving the Padres.)
Later, after warming up for what will be his last game with the Padres, Mike learns he won’t be playing because the Cubs don’t want him to get injured. Upset, Mike spends most of the game’s first half pacing in the dugout.
Luckily, Ginny isn’t going to stand for either Mike Lawson or Padres fans missing out on his final game in his home stadium. She tells Mike to put on his helmet and uses a cameraman’s crush on her to capture the whole thing on television. Almost on cue, the crowd starts chanting, and I tear up because I apparently now care about baseball?!
Unfortunately, there’s not much to see. Mike quickly strikes out and returns to the dugout disappointed, the Padres having lost. But that doesn’t matter as the crowd swells, cheering and calling his name. Teary-eyed, he returns to the field to say hi to everyone.
Sadly, that’s more than his team gets — something Blip calls him out on, telling him he should have given a speech, taken them all out for drinks, or even just said goodbye. By the time Mike comes around, everyone’s gone and all he’s left with is Duarte. So, Mike takes Blip’s advice and tells the young player he scored for himself, not the team.
Over at home office, Oscar even tries to explain to Charlie that baseball is a sentimental game and fans have long memories. But Charlie replies he’s just in it to win and that means trading Mike, though that’s not the only thing on Oscar’s plate.
Not only does Al know about Oscar’s relationship with his daughter, Natalie, but she’s decided not to take a job in San Diego, choosing instead to volunteer with the International Medical Corp. To which Al (rather heartbreaking) replies, “International? That sounds far away.” Sniffle.
Before Natalie leaves, she clears the air between both men, telling Al that Oscar does have his back and Oscar that he knows Al is right. Once she’s gone, Oscar tells Al he’d asked her to stay and he’s glad Al let Mike hit after all.
NEXT: Good dates and bad decisions
While all this is happening, it seems Ginny’s brother, Will, is still around. Not only that, but he seems to be going full-steam ahead with Screwgies Bar and Grill—only this time it’s with Evelyn and Blip’s money, too. Blip tries to raise his concerns about Will and Evelyn’s experience, but gets shot down.
Amelia tries to bring this up with Ginny later, mentioning the necessary permits and paperwork. But Ginny tells her she’ll always choose her brother. Ginny then tries to (misguidedly) approach Evelyn, but is forced to drop it, so she apologizes to both her and Will.
But as Evelyn later discovers, there might be some truth to what Amelia is saying. There’s a discrepancy in the paperwork with a large amount of money unaccounted for. Will tells Evelyn he set $40,000 of it aside for promotion. She asks about the other $32,000 and he tells her he spent it on kitchen equipment because he got a “good deal” — even though they haven’t met with a contractor yet. Evelyn brushes it off at first, but later calls Amelia, concerned.
Elsewhere in the episode, Ginny is getting motion captured as part of her addition to a video game when the company’s CEO, Noah — whom Eliot describes as the “Mark Zuckerberg” of his field — asks Ginny out. Though she’s interested, she says no because she doesn’t want to deal with all the crowds and fans asking for her autograph. Good call, considering what happened a few episodes ago.
A few hours later, he sends her a video animated in the style of Super Mario, a callback to their conversation. But it isn’t until the next day Ginny finally takes him up on his offer of dinner after her game. At this point I’m impressed Ginny might have the energy for this after nine innings, but Kylie Bunbury can convince me of anything, including this.
When she shows up at the restaurant, she discovers Noah’s bought it out. But that’s not all. He also reveals there’s no menu because she can order anything she wants. I repeat, anything. Obviously, she picks a jalapeno burger — but to Noah’s credit, he gets one, too.
She then asks Noah about the restaurant business, and he mentions it’s riskier to invest in a restaurant than a start-up. Uh-oh. He also adds that you should definitely not invest with a friend or family member. Double uh-oh.
That’s all they have time for, as Ginny gets a text from Mike saying he is going to a bar after all, so she leaves behind a very understanding Noah. But when she arrives at the bar, she’s the only other player there. She and Mike get drinks and she tells him she walked out on a date. He asks why she lied and told her date she was going out with her brother. Ginny explains she doesn’t want him to feel bad.
Mike: “Yeah. Sure. Let’s go with that.”
Me: “Me too, my man. ME TOO.”
Eventually, it’s time for Mike to leave because of his press conference the next day. As they both wait for their cars outside, they continue to bicker. Ginny tells Mike she knew he wouldn’t leave without saying goodbye, and he replies jokingly that this isn’t goodbye. He then calls her “Ginny” for the first time…before admitting to nailing her cleats.
Finally, Ginny hugs Mike goodbye, but the moment lingers a little longer than it should, with both of them realizing and even starting to act on it…until the phone rings. It’s Oscar. The trade is off. And things are officially awkward.
Episode grade: B+