Sorry if this horse has been beaten to death, but I've been away for awhile. I noticed the genius (a.k.a. Tony LaRussa) has taken to batting the pitcher 8th again. I'm just a dumb hayseed and was hoping you all could help me with this one. What exactly is the benefit of batting the pitcher 8th if he is clearly not a better hitter than the guy batting 9th? Also, if this is such great strategy, why is that managers have been batting the pitcher 9th for as long as anyone can remember? My opinion is that LaRussa is just doing this to show he is such a great genius and hayseeds like me will never understand this childs game. Opinions?