The Mendoza Line of Posts

This is my 200th post.

It is of interest only because people like milestones and milestones come in round numbers.

Two-hundred blog posts is no big thing. I follow people who have twittered 48,000 times. (As Truman Capote once said, “That’s not writing, that’s typing.”)

For Mario Mendoza, whose lifetime .215 batting average led to calling a woeful .200 or under average “The Mendoza Line,” .200 was just a lousy break, because statistics will tell you that plenty of guys never cracked .200, but Mendoza was the poor shmoo who got singled out.  (Thanks, George Brett. I’m blaming you for this.)

Mario Mendoza

For me, 200 posts is a nice milestone and with milestones come the responsibility of writing something worthwhile or memorable … or, really, just something.

There are wonderfully talented people with much to say who can post on their blogs with daily, sometimes twice- and thrice-daily regularity. If you are one of them, please know that I find you admirable, role-model worthy, and, to be honest, a little annoying.

Most of what I write never gets posted. It is too weird, fractured, stupid, unfunny, baffling, or confusing (even to me and I wrote it).

Here are a few scraps that I tinkered with over the years that never became post-worthy. Well-intentioned, sure. But, like Mario Mendoza, not quite good enough to get on base:

“Minnesota Twins: You play outside now. Good for you.” (2012. From an abandoned effort to say one nice thing about every major league team.)

“Do you think a guinea pig is jealous of a rabbit’s ears?” (2013)

“Try throwing a basketball 100 miles per hour.” (2014)

“It has been brought to my attention that my blog is frivolous. This came from someone who is of the belief that Supreme Court rulings are important and baseball is not.” (2013)

“Giraffes have the biggest hearts of all land mammals.” (2015)

“I’m so glad that there is something that Bill Ripken does better than Cal.” (2012, Playoffs. Following Cal’s atrocious time in the broadcast booth.)

“While living in Paris, Hemingway would bring mandarins to his writing garret each day. Eating mandarins as you write will not turn you into Hemingway. Trust me.” (2012)

“Craptastic. That should be a word.” (2013)

“I was hopeful that the Montgomery Biscuits’ mascot would be someone dressed as a warm, buttery biscuit. But, this is not a perfect world.  And, baseball, for all its perfection, often disappoints. (2015)

big mo not a biscuit

Big Mo. Not a biscuit.

“Dear Gentlemen: One day you will thank the Bloggess for this advice – never suggest to your wife that the smell coming from the hard-to-reach dead mouse under the fridge will go away ‘in a few days.’ Here’s a tip, use a vacuum cleaner and stick the hose right under there and suck that stinker out. Don’t make your wife do it. She will only be annoyed and write about it in an effort to shame you.” (2013)

“Oh my god, I’m getting soft on A-Rod.” (2015, World Series)

“Dear Tampa Bay Rays, Great idea for 2013: make the roof girders light up when balls hit them and turn the entire stadium into a giant pinball machine. Moving girders become flippers, bumpers throughout the outfield, flashing lights, a whirling disco ball, and a “tilt” that will shake the stadium at random times. I’m just trying to help.” (2012)

“We wandered through exhibits in and around the ‘Downtown Mall,’ Charlottesville’s hipster outdoor space where much of this Photography Festival thing was going on. Photographers were shooting like they were Annie Liebovitz in Tiananmen Square on revolution day. I’m pretty sure I ended up part of  someone’s Street Art Portfolio.” (2015)

“Does that Brewer guy still slide into a pool after home runs? I hope so.” (2012)

“I’m not an expert on baseball, but I feel like I’m not destroying a thoughtful national conversation by weighing in on it from time to time.” (2013)

“I have been cold since I was 12.” (2014)

“I saw that Cincinnati just signed Jair Jurrgens. My take on that … if your team is signing the Orioles’ pitching castoffs, you probably have a bigger problem than you realize.”  (2014)

“I’ll write what she’s writing.” (2015. The headline from a discarded draft in praise of Nora Ephron.)

“I’ve bet on baseball and I don’t belong in the Hall of Fame either.” (2015)

“Jim Palmer wrote to me!” (2015)

palmer tweet

Actually, he typed.



21 thoughts on “The Mendoza Line of Posts

    • Oh, I know it was about Kerouac … don’t you think he would have been Twitter mad? He loved to type on a single roll of paper … just unspooling as he wrote. I think Twitter is the modern-day equivalent of typing on a roll and I think he would have been one of those must-follow types, don’t you?

      • Ha – those photos of Kerouac using the roll of paper because he didn’t want to disrupt the flow is an excellent image of someone affected by twitter fever. I think Kerouac might have enjoyed using twitter.

  1. Congratulations on making it to the 200-post milestone. (Or should that be “poststone 200”? I mean, we’re not measuring miles here. But that rock looks kind of odd embedded in your blog. Never mind.)

    But, hey, don’t be too quick to give up on an idea. Tampa Bay missed out on a great idea when you canceled that post.

    • Thanks, Casey! I truly believe if someone is going to insist I watch baseball inside, they have a responsibility to make it worth my while. I saw a bunch of Twins games back in the Metrodome era. It was just so sad to go inside, when it was beautiful Minnesota summer day outside, and into that cavern that smelled just a little like a giant high school locker room. I was just trying to help Tampa out (plus, I hate those stupid “this one’s a home run” “that one’s a double” girders.

  2. Congrats! Love your blog and look forward to the next 200. By the way, were you serious when you said craptastic isn’t a word? I’ll have to take it out of my Scrabble notebook.

  3. Congrats on 200. May you have 200 more. I’m sure they’ll be as good as the last 200. Keep it up and do me a favor–finish the one on betting. Sounds like a hoot.

    • Awww, thank you, v. The betting thing is not nearly as interesting as it sounds. All I’ll say is this: I owe a debt of gratitude to the 1996 edition of Brady Anderson. I don’t want to know how he did it, I only know those 50 home runs of his were very, very good to me.

  4. This is going to sound like a left-handed compliment, but I find your blog inspiring and encouraging precisely because I can’t seem to write a blog entry unless, and until, I have something to say that feels profound and complete and… well, important, somehow. I have lots of passing thoughts that are kinda fun and, maybe kinda interesting, but I let them dribble away as Facebook comments- sometimes very long Facebook comments that would have qualified as pretty good blog entries, if I do say so. I think (and here’s where it really sounds insulting) I need to lower- or, let’s say, “change”- my standards for what is worth writing. I enjoy reading about whatever is on your mind, even if it’s not particularly earth shaking. (We are, after all, four months away from Spring Training, so what could be interesting?). So, I am going to try to write more often, even if I don’t have something profound to say. Thanks, and congratulations on your 200th. Keep it up, and I’ll see if I can catch up.

    • I hope that by giving me a “left-handed compliment” you are simply suggesting that I’m the Sandy Koufax of bloggers. I’m thinking that’s not what you meant though. So, um, uh, thanks? :)

      Anyway, I hope I didn’t suggest one lower the bar about what one writes about … after all, my post was about all the stuff that I’ve written and then discarded over the years because it didn’t meet my own standards of what I consider good enough.

      But, if I inspired you to write more … I’m good with that. Thanks!

  5. Congratulations on passing the Mendoza line. Over here at Ram On, I’ve recently passed Milt Pappas (.123) with the 126th post and am now closing in on Gaylord Perry (.131). I think Pappas would be happy for me. He liked celebrations. Let’s keep Ram On blog post 132 secret from Gaylord. I’ve heard he’s a little grouchier.

    I think you had some winners in the list that didn’t make the cut.

    • Thank you, Bruce! Milt Pappas, former Oriole … so you know he’s alright in my book. Gaylord Perry batted .131 … hmmmm … I don’t think that’s so bad for a pitcher, but then what do I know? I’m a DH kinda girl. I wonder if his hands were so slippery from doctoring the ball, that he had a hard time holding on to his bat?

        • Yes! I look to Kruk and Kuip for some of the best baseball stories. I love the “Old Timers” uniform Perry wears with all 8 of his team’s logos on it. If you haven’t seen it, ask the Googler for “Gaylord Teams Uniform” and it will come up.

          I know you Giants’ fans realize how lucky you are with Kruk & Kuip & Fleming & (sigh) Jon Miller! I’m so grateful for Sirius Radio and MLB TV … And, speaking of Giants, I can’t wait to see how “Shimmy Leg” does in SF next season. That could be fun!

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