For the past two seasons the San Diego Padres' offense has finished at the bottom of the major leagues. But the team's fans can take heart, help might finally be on the way. According to a new study published by the University of California at Berkeley, the rising temperatures associated with dangerous global warming should also extend to the Padres' cold bats, improving the team's chances of making the playoffs.
"The devastating effects of global warming include melting polar ice caps, rising ocean levels, altered ecosystems, accelerated extinction of species, disrupted food supplies, and the downward spiral of economies," reported the study, published last week by UC-Berkeley's Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management. "But there is a silver lining here: The earth's widespread rising temperatures should also heat up the Padres' bats--even David Eckstein's ice cold bat."
While the study concluded that it might take "up to two decades" for the Padres' bats to heat up enough to make a run at the playoffs, some evidence shows global warming is already having a positive impact on the team's offense. The study cited data showing that the Padres' bats did exhibit mild warming last year, moving from 30th out of 30 teams in 2008, up to 29th in 2009.
The earth's rising temperatures could put the San Diego Zoo's polar bear exhibit on thin ice, but global warming could also be a boon for the city's professional baseball team.
The scientific community seems to be in agreement on the issue of global warming heating up the Padres' cold bats. However, not everyone is convinced. ESPN's Tim Kurkjian counts himself among the skeptics. "We all know that the Padres' only good hitter, Adrian Gonzalez, is going to be traded away by the All-Star break," explained Kurkjian, "so if anything, in the second half of 2010 we should expect the Padres' bats to experience further cooling."