Lasorda, who guided the Dodgers to World Series victories in 1981 and 1988, cautioned against describing the No. 6 hitter as simply a bridge to the bottom of the lineup.
"You call him the second cleanup hitter," he said.
The last third of the order is not necessarily where managers hide their lineup's weaknesses. But the No. 7 batter is more and more often someone like Crawford, who was struggling to regain his All-Star form in April and batted eighth Sunday against the Chicago Cubs.
The difference between the National and American leagues is most apparent in the Nos. 8 and 9 spots.
St. Louis Cardinals Manager Tony LaRussa has experimented by occasionally batting the pitcher eighth. But most National League managers still hit the pitcher last, making the No. 8 spot a place for experienced, unselfish hitters willing to do whatever it takes to get on base and prevent the pitcher from leading off an inning.
Bochy said Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz excelled at the role.
"He has a good understanding of how he's going to get pitched but has discipline and patience," Bochy said. "Some hitters don't like it, because in their mind they're not going to get pitched to, they're going to get pitched around and they're not going to get anything to hit."