The BILL JAMES GUIDE TO BASEBALL MANAGERS: From 1870 to Today

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9780684806983: The BILL JAMES GUIDE TO BASEBALL MANAGERS: From 1870 to Today
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Offers profiles of top managers, includes essays on everything from Casey Stengel's impact on attendance to relief pitching, and provides sidebars, statistics, and snapshots of each decade

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Review:

James has built a career on finding the art and wisdom in baseball's numbers. Here he answers--in words as well as the numbers to back them up--everything you've ever wanted to know about dugout skippers, from the game's dinosaur days in the 1870s right up to today. Dividing his book into decade stretches, James examines the best managers of each time period, analyzing their contributions, detailing their styles, pointing out quirks, dissecting strengths and weaknesses, and comparing them with others. Along the way, he adds some fascinating essays--on the Dodger farm system, for example, the influence of Ned Hanlon, and the worst single managerial job of all time. Like all of James's work, it's filled with charts and statistics that open doors to both the managerial mind and baseball's inner workings. --Jeff Silverman, Sports editor

From Booklist:

How do you determine excellence in a baseball manager? After citing won-lost records and World Series appearances, fans are reduced to subjective references to motivating players and setting strategy. Statistical analyst James, famous for the Baseball Abstract, does his best to provide a basis for comparing, say, Walter Alston with Casey Stengel. The book is loosely structured by decade, with James analyzing each era's best, worst, and most influential skippers on the basis of such elaborate criteria as, Does the manager platoon his players or use a set lineup? Does he prefer veterans over young players? Does he like his pitchers to complete their starts or is he a "quick hook" ? As always, James' opinions are thought provoking and entertainingly expressed. It's been too long since his last book-length collection of essays, and this volume's appearance in a spring of renewed interest in the grand old game is perfect timing. Expect significant interest in a fine book. Wes Lukowsky

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Bill James
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James, Bill
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