MLB celebrates Earth Day

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It’s Earth Day. And I didn’t buy you a gift. Drat, I always forget.

Baseball hasn’t forgotten, however, and it’s doing a lot of stuff in honor of the occasion:

The Indians and Twins will wear green caps during their game Friday night at Target Field; the Mariners will introduce a new environmental mascot called Kid Compost; the Reds will host a major e-waste drive; and the Pirates will host an energy-free day at PNC Park.

I’ve been to PNC Park. From what I can tell it’s always an energy-free zone. Hey-O!

Seriously, though, I like it when companies try to raise awareness of the problems facing our environment. Even the ones who cut down a bunch of trees recently because some rich people complained that they spoiled the view.

OK, this time really seriously: check out the article at MLB.com to read about what teams are doing for Earth Day. And then, to the extent that the measures are practical and useful, demand that they do that sort of stuff all the time.

And for cryin’ out loud, get a bike.

Two great Mariano Rivera stories

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In addition to getting unanimous support from Hall of Fame voters, Mariano Rivera’s election is getting universal praise from fans and the baseball community. I mean, at least it seems so. If you see someone out there in the wild really mad that Rivera was elected, please, let me know. But don’t approach such people. They’re probably dangerously imbalanced and might cause harm to you.

From what we’ve seen, anyway, there is no one who doesn’t love Rivera and his election. That love has come out in the form of anecdotes people are sharing this morning. I’ve seen two that made me particularly happy. One “ha ha” happy, the other “aww” happy.

The “ha ha” comes from Michael Young, who shared the ballot with Rivera this year and whose Rangers actually beat Rivera’s Yankees in the 2010 ALCS. Not that they had much success against Mo:

Now the “aww.” It comes from Danny Burawa, who had a few major league cups of coffee after coming up in the Yankees system. From his Instagram last night:

In 2012, in the middle of my first big league spring training, I tore my oblique during a game (I wound up missing the whole season). First cuts hadn’t been made and the Yankees let me stick around to rehab with the big leaguers for a few days. The next day, after finishing my rehab, I returned to the locker room which was totally empty. I’m sitting at my locker getting ready to go home when in walks Mariano Rivera. Considering I was a nobody A-baller, I kept my eyes down on my feet and minded my own business. Next thing I know, he’s in the chair next to me, telling me his story, about failing as a starter, about an injury he had when he was younger, about how the setbacks we think are fatal usually end up as speed bumps on a longer, grander road. This is the greatest of all time, taking the time to cheer up a nobody, for no other reason than he thought it was the right thing to do. Great pitcher, greater human, congratulations Mo!

People use that “great player, better person” construction a lot. I often roll my eyes when I hear it because it’s pretty subjective and, I suspect, the “better person” part can’t be vouched for outside the subject’s friend or peer group. Doesn’t sound that way with Rivera, though. He simply sounds like a prince of a guy.