Mendoza Line

What does Mendoza Line mean in Baseball?

‘.200 batting average’ is what ‘Mendoza Line’ stands for in slang terms.

The phrase ‘Mendoza Line’ comes from the world of baseball and is linked to shortstop player Mario Mendoza. It’s a bit of a joke that started in the locker room about his batting average, which became the benchmark for decent hitting.

It was during the 1980s that this phrase really picked up steam. TV personalities like Chris Berman from ESPN started using it to describe a player’s hitting performance. In essence, if a player’s hitting average dips below the Mendoza Line, it means they’re not performing well enough to stay in the lineup, even if their defensive skills are top-notch.

The Mendoza Line is set at .200. But it’s interesting to note that Mario Mendoza, the player who inspired this phrase, had a career average of .215. So, even though the term is a bit of a jab at Mendoza’s batting abilities, he actually performed better than the standard his name has come to represent!

Example for using ‘Mendoza Line’ in a conversation

Hey, did you see the game last night?

Yeah, it was rough. Our star player couldn’t hit anything!

I know, he’s been struggling lately.

He’s definitely below the Mendoza Line now.