Wilson: Mendoza line helpful in comparison

As my Texas Rangers spent the early portion of the playoffs proving, baseball is a game of failure.


Kevin Wilson

Kevin Wilson

Fail six times out of 10, you’re a Hall of Famer. Fail seven times and you’re an above-average hitter. Fail eight, and you’re a bowl of Waffle Crisp in my hands.
Does this make no sense whatsoever? It shouldn’t, because it didn’t make sense to me during my Sunday grocery store run.
During my trip to the grocery store, I had the same two goals I do every Sunday: Buy donuts, and buy enough extra stuff to convince the cashier I didn’t come here just to buy donuts.
I was looking for a cereal I hadn’t tried before, and saw Waffle Crisp cereal. Hmm, never had it, and nobody’s ever told me about it, but it’s here every time I go to any grocery store. It’s reasonably priced — in fact, cheaper than the donuts I bought on a whim — so let’s find out why it’s here.
I’m almost through the box, and can only describe it as eating a syrup soaked waffle that is still crispy, as if by magic.
I told friends Waffle Crisp was to me the absolute middle of cereals. I’ll never tell anybody to pick it up, nor will I tell them to avoid it. Also, every cereal I ever have from now on will be judged as bad or good on the question, “Is this better or worse than Waffle Crisp?”
My friend Steven, a long-suffering Atlanta Braves fan, chimed in with, “Waffle Crisp: The Mendoza Line of breakfast cereals.”
(If anybody from Post Cereal, the maker of Waffle Crisp, comes across this — contact me before slapping that quote on the box. It turns out I do have some friends who love your product.)
The Mendoza Line is named after former major league infielder Mario Mendoza Aizpuru. Mendoza left the game with a career batting average of .215, but the baseball public decided to make the math easier. So .200 is the Mendoza Line, because the Aizpuru Line doesn’t have any ring to it.
I’m not so much concerned with the percentage, as I am for its location in the middle of the bell curve. Hit above the Mendoza Line, and you stay on a major league roster. Hit below it, and you might get demoted. Steven got it.
So I’d found my Mendoza Line for cereals. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I’d spent years establishing Mendoza Lines for other things. My Mendoza Line movies are “XXX: State of the Union” and “The Postman.”
Let’s put it in the context of Sandra Bullock films. “The Proposal” is a bad movie for me because I’d watch “The Postman” instead, but I’ll watch “Gravity” before I pop in “XXX: State of the Union.”
My Mendoza Line TV show: “Last Man on Earth.” My Mendoza Line sport to watch on TV: College lacrosse. My Mendoza Line snack: Pretzels. My Mendoza line beverage: Ginger ale.
My Mendoza Line candidate? Let’s not get into that one.

Kevin Wilson is a managing editor of the Clovis News Journal. He can be contacted at 575-763-3431, ext. 320, or by email:

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