Ecological Extra Innings: Part Two (Early Earth Day)

Monday, April 5, 2021

EARLY EARTH DAY EDITION

Earth Day is coming up but the idea occurred closer to Opening Day of this year’s baseball season and I would rather have the idea in circulation as soon as possible, since it’s likely to take several years to bring it about. As everyone knows, or should know, airplane travel is extraordinarily damaging to the environment. The carbon footprint is more like a stampede of jackboots.

Obviously, no matter how much lingering guilt we may feel about this erosion of the planet’s capacity to sustain itself, the entertainment lifestyle of the U.S. economic engine is not going to change that much, no matter how many electric cars get driven. Other changes are needed, too, and each of us should be trying to think of ways to reduce the impact of our national amusements on the environment.

I was looking at the schedules of various Major League Baseball teams the other morning and noticed that the San Diego Padres had a rough April in store. They will play a day game in Pittsburgh and then fly six hours to San Diego to play their arch rivals, the L.A. Dodgers, the next evening. Health and performance issues aside, could we stop for a second and ask ourselves if this expenditure of our natural resources can really be justified?

If the goal is to reduce our dependency on fossil fuel, then we must reduce that which requires its use.

THEREFORE, be it resolved that MLB split into two leagues, a National League consisting of teams east of the Mississippi, and an American League of teams west of the Mississippi. During the regular season, teams will only play other teams in their half of the American professional leagues.

I will leave it to someone with more time than I have right now to do the math, but I bet this realignment would reduce the carbon footprint of professional baseball by at least 25 percent, especially if high-speed rail encouraged a return to teams moving between cities on railroads.

By the year 2030, there is no reason not for MLB not to have had the courage to do the right thing as an example of the MINIMUM changes that are immediately needed to regain some equilibrium in the climate crisis.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

New York Yankees
New York Mets
Philadelphia Phillies
Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays

Chicago Cubs
Pittsburgh Pirates
St. Louis Cardinals
Milwaukee Brewers
Cincinnati Reds

Washington Nationals
Baltimore Orioles
Miami Marlins
Tampa Bay Rays
Atlanta (Rovers?)

American League

Kansas City Royals
Houston Astros
Texas Rangers
Arizona Diamondbacks
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
Oakland As
Seattle Mariners

Colorado Rockies
Minnesota Twins
Detroit Tigers
Chicago White Sox
Cleveland (Catamounts?)