The Mendoza Line
is an expression in baseball
in the United States, deriving from the name of shortstop Mario Mendoza
, whose lifetime batting average
is taken to define the threshold of incompetent hitting. Even though Mendoza's career batting average over nine seasons was .215, on Baseball-reference.com
and, when a position player's batting average
falls below that level, the player is said to be below the Mendoza Line. This is often thought of as the offensive threshold below which a player's presence in Major League Baseball
cannot be justified, regardless of his defensive abilities. Pitchers are not held to this standard, since their specialized work and infrequent batting requires less hitting competence. The expression has been also extended to other realms to indicate a low-end cut-off point.
Another expression used in baseball to indicate that a hitter is not being effective is "On the Interstate", which derives from batting averages in the .1xx range looking similar to the route designations of the Interstate Highway System
in the United States, in which roads are referred to using "I" to indicate an Interstate Highway, and a number to indicate the specific route. Thus a batting average of .195 looks roughly similar to "I-95", and the batter is said to be "on the Interstate." at......