mendozaglasses.jpg
In 2010, ESPN published its list of the 10 worst offensive teams in Major League Baseball history . Tops (or bottom, depending on your perspective)

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Mariners Make a Run for the Mendoza Line

mendozaglasses.jpg
In 2010, ESPN published its list of the 10 worst offensive teams in Major League Baseball history. Tops (or bottom, depending on your perspective) on the list: the 2010 Seattle Mariners. Had they published a similar list last year, the 2011 Mariners might have claimed the most dubious slot; and if they were to do one now, the 2012 squad would give both a run for their money. That's how consistently awful the M's bats have been.

See also: Mendoza Line Renamed in Honor of Chone Figgins

But only the 2012 squad's ineptitude has a chance of being dubbed statistically historic, and such a legacy rests solely on the lumber of Brendan Ryan and Justin Smoak--not to mention the ghost of former Mariner Mario Mendoza (pictured).

The Mendoza Line, meant to demarcate any hitter who finishes a season with a batting average under .200, is named for former Mariner shortstop Mario Mendoza, who batted .198 for the Mariners in 1979 and finished with a career average of .215. Of the 10 teams on ESPN's list, half featured a regular starter with a batting average under the Mendoza Line. But none featured a pair of Mendoza men. That's where Smoak and Ryan come in.

Prior to last night's game, Ryan was hitting .191 and Smoak, in the midst of a hot streak (for him), .200 on the nose. With 14 games to play, Smoak's bat will have to cool a bit in order for the 2012 M's to make Mendoza history. It's a tough thing to root for, but a morbidly intriguing footnote nonetheless.

Whether or not they end up shrouded in statistical infamy, the M's have made at least a modest leap forward this year, and will be positioned to make a major free-agent splash prior to the 2014 season, when fellow Mendozer Chone Figgins comes off the rolls. As for the man for whom the Line is named, he hit a career-best .245 with the M's in 1980--so expect big things from Ryan next year. And by big, we mean like .225.

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