A MEMBER OF THE FIRST ANNUAL DUCKS ON THE POND FANTASY LEAGUE! Great Stuff.

The Mendoza Line

If you listened to any Pittsburgh Pirates broadcast in the last twenty years, you probably heard the phrase “the Mendoza line” in reference to a slugger with a wicked case of the Mondays every at-bat.

That “line” is drawn at the .200 batting average mark, so a player hitting below .200 during the season or over the course of his career is said to be under the Mendoza line. Tracking this serves two purposes:

  1. Fans can easily identify which player to throw stuff at.
  2. Without ducking, players generally avoid most items thrown at them because they are, literally and figuratively, slumping.

It’s also a measure of offensive aptitude, says baseball historian David Neft:

“What the significance of it is … if you are a terrific defensive shortstop, you can play regularly in the major leagues with a low batting average. But there’s a limit to how low the batting average…

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