The Mendoza Line
Every summer at about this time, a battle is waged by a cadre of struggling hitters trying to push their batting averages past .200 -- baseball's dreaded Mendoza Line.
It is not pretty to watch previously productive hitters like Brad Ausmus and Pat Burrell, Royce Clayton and David Bell hovering around the Line this season. Mendoza never was thrilled about living in that neighborhood, either.
The original Mendoza Line traces back to Minnie Mendoza, a career minor leaguer whose lone big-league experience was limited to 16 at-bats for the Minnesota Twins in 1970, when he hit .170. This does not seem enough of a sample to hang the etymology of the Line on him.
Mario Mendoza, however, is another story.
He was a slick fielding shortstop who was offensively challenged. In parts of nine seasons with Pittsburgh, Seattle and Texas, he batted under .200 five times. His first full-time season was 1979 when the Pirates traded him to the Mariners. He played 148 games and batted .198.
Others -- especially in his clubhouse -- noticed his hitting problems and invented the Mendoza Line. Most accounts blame the creation of the term on Tom Paciorek, who pleaded innocent.
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WOW...Tom Panciorek was the one credited with created the term Mendoza Line...LOL
I can think of a few hitters this year who are gonna push the line...