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Gaslamp Ball Debate Club: Batting the pitcher 8th

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Friar John's blog points to a USA Today story about La Russa's strategy to bat the pitcher 8th instead of 9th.

It's open for debate. I get the feeling that most people will call La Russa a crazy old man, but is there something to the strategy? How good does your #3 hitter have to be? How good or bad of a hitter does your pitcher have to be?

Is this even debatable? Some studies say that there might be a statistically insignificant benefit. Is there a psychological one?

Also keep in mind that La Russa once thought it would be a good idea to drive drunk. Don't let that sway you though, even though I just asked you to keep it in mind.