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Save The Environment, Abolish The Dh

Keith Richburg reports in the Washington Post that the national pastime is becoming more eco-friendly:

Across the country, baseball parks now have recycling bins for plastic cups, and solar panels are providing at least some of the energy. Men's rooms are being fitted with no-flush urinals to save water. Grounds crews are switching to chemically benign cleaners, and vending machines are being made more energy-efficient. Teams are even taking the environmental impact into consideration when they decide how to travel for road games. ...

This year, at the start of the season, Major League Baseball entered a partnership with the NRDC to make the entire game more Earth-friendly. The Council conducted a team-by-team survey and has come up with an online software tool, called the Team Greening Program, to help every team adopt more ecological practices.

Well, here's a modest proposal: Abolish the designated hitter rule! The average American League game is between five and ten minutes longer than the average National League game, because of the DH. Over an entire season, that adds up to a lot of extra energy being used to power stadium lights, for no good reason whatsoever. So it's time for it to go. This could have the side benefit, at least in the short term, of resulting in more injuries to Yankee pitchers, which would help punish the team for its extravagant energy consumption: The average Yankee game is more than 20 minutes longer than the average NL game.

--Josh Patashnik