This is part 8 of tunes to the batting order. Yesterday was the 7 hole
8 turned on its side is the symbol for infinity. It’s also the atomic number of Oxygen and the only number a kid traces and traces, round and round never ending. But an 8 is simply a 0 stacked on top another 0 and pitchers are too often considered 0’s when it comes to hitting.
I want my pitcher to bat 8th.
He might see my move as glass half empty and say, “Aw skip, you’re just doing that so the crud ain’t at the bottom.” And he may be right, but only partially.
If anything else, batting the pitcher 8th will give him a boost and remind him of his star shortstop pee wee days hitting home runs over the railroad tracks.
But it’s more than reviving confidence. The pitcher is important by not being important. If he refuses to build a batting cage in his basement, then we must keep him as far away as possible from the 3 and 4 hitters.
The pitcher can always lay down a sacrifice bunt. And if no one is on base, he can swing away and cause no harm because there’s 9,1, and 2 to play ducks on the pond before the big bats arrive.
The less damage pitchers cause to a batting order, the better. Then we can sit back and watch the master on the mound.
I want Bob Dylan’s “Catfish,” a tribute to Jim Hunter who now pitches in heaven.