Evaluating Baseball’s Managers

A History and Analysis of Performance in the Major Leagues, 1876–2008


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SKU: 9780786439201 Categories: , ,

About the Book

This ambitious study of major league managers since the formation of the National League applies a sabermetric approach to gauging their performance and tendencies. Rather than focusing solely on in-game tactical decisions, it also analyzes broader, off-the-field management issues such as handling players, fans, and media, enforcing team rules, working with the front office, and balancing pressure versus performance.

About the Author(s)

Chris Jaffe is an instructor of history and a columnist for The Hardball Times. He lives in Schaumburg, Illinois. For more information about Chris Jaffe and Evaluating Baseball’s Managers, visit the author’s website.

Bibliographic Details

Chris Jaffe
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 333
Bibliographic Info: tables, appendices, bibliography, glossary, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3920-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5743-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Preface      1

1. Evaluating Managerial Performance      5
2. Evaluating Managerial Tendencies      42
3. Managers and Starting Pitchers      53

4. Primordial Managers, 1876–1892      65
5. Rise of the Fundamentalists, 1893–1919      80
6. Managing in the Lively Ball Era, 1920–1950      120
7. The Modern Manager Emerges, 1951–1976      158
8. Managing in a New Era of Labor Relations, 1977–1997      204
9. Contemporary Managers, 1998–2008      244

Appendix I: The Birnbaum Database, by Phil Birnbaum      289
Appendix II: The Tendencies Database      292
Appendix III: LPA for Years and Managers      306
Glossary      310
Bibliography      313
Index      315

Book Reviews & Awards

Winner, Sporting News–SABR Baseball Research Award
“One of the best baseball books I’ve read in a long time, a serious effort by a good writer with a love of history and stats and a fascinating subject that hasn’t been studied much”—Big League Stew blog; “The most important sabermetric work of the past decade”—Scott Lemieux of Lawyers, Guns and Money blog; “Way back in the 20th century, Bill James wrote the first essential book about baseball managers. Chris Jaffe has just written the second.”—Rob Neyer, ESPN.com; “These days it’s tough to find an important aspect of baseball that hasn’t been studied and analyzed a hundred different ways, but Chris Jaffe has done just that with a unique, compelling look at the men who run thing on the field. This book is for you, whether you like hardcore numbers crunching and objective analysis or biographical sketches and interesting anecdotes.”—Aaron Gleeman, writer, NBCsports.com; “I can think of no work on managers that as effectively and completely evaluates the men in the dugout. It is a leap forward in our understanding of these hardball leaders.… From now on, whenever I have a question about a manager, Jaffe’s book will be the first and last one I reach for.”—Sean Forman, founder of Baseball-Reference.com; “Evaluating Baseball’s Managers is a wonderful work of analytical and historical research, and an incredibly worthy addition to any library dedicated to the understanding of professional baseball.”—Craig Wright, author of The Diamond Appraised; “By approaching the book with a healthy appreciation of the limits of the cold-blooded calculus favored by many sabermetricians, Jaffe does the most complete job yet of measuring the immeasurable qualities of baseball’s all-time skippers.”—Russell Adams, reporter for the Wall Street Journal; “Evaluating Baseball’s Managers will be an indispensable part of the book collection of every serious student of the game, and will, I suspect, open up a critical, ongoing, and howlingly entertaining dialogue about the game’s managers and their roles in the evolution of the national pastime.”—Jeff Angus, author of Management of Baseball; “Managers are the best untold story in baseball. Lots of books have been written by and about managers, but few have taken the broad view. Chris Jaffe fills that gap.”—David Studenmund, Hardball Times.com.