Mario Mendoza sported quite the glove during his 9-year big league career. In 686 games spent between Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Texas, he was valued at a total of 4.0 dWAR, doing much of his work as a shortstop plying his trade on the concrete astroturf of the 1970s and early 1980s.
What he did not sport, however, was a bat. He held one, technically. Even tried swinging it every now and again, as his 4 career dingers do confirm. But as his career .507 OPS and 41 OPS+ suggest, hitting was absolutely not his forte. In fact, his struggles at the plate gave rise to the ‘Mendoza Line’ reference, one that referred to whether or not a player’s batting average began with a 2 or a woeful 1.
The funny thing is, Mario Mendoza’s big league career ended with him having a career .215 batting average. And to tie a bow on this quick, poorly thought out blurb that my brain could not turn into a 1,000 word article with substance and analysis, the entire 2020 Cincinnati Reds baseball club just hit .212, combined.
No, the 2020 Cincinnati Reds did not hit worse than the ‘Mendoza line,’ they just *hit worse than the actual Mendoza himself.
*No OBPs, SLGs, OPSs, wOBAs, or wRCs were harmed in the writing of this blurb.