My Review of “Evaluating Baseball’s Managers, 1876-200” by Chris Jaffe


I was recently approached by a guy named Chris Jaffe about an upcoming book he had written. You probably know him as one of the writers over at The Hardball Times. Anyway, his book is all about the evaluation of Major League Baseball managers over the last 130 years or so, and he asked me if I could read a section of it and post a review here. I accepted, and although it took me awhile, I finally got around to reading it, and I’d like to post some of my thoughts.

The section that I read covered the only three previous managers of the Mariners that Chris wrote about; Dick Williams (1986-1988), Lou Piniella (1993-2002), and Mike Hargrove (2005-2007). Based on the section of the book that I had the privilege of reading, the main goal of the book is to go in depth with each of these managers, discovering all of their individual managerial tendencies, preferences, successes, and failures.

For example, a few of the many things I learned were that Dick Williams had a strong preference towards young players, that Lou Piniella very rarely used platoon splits to his advantage (which the author asserts was probably because Piniella was a platoon player during his career, and hated it), and that Mike Hargrove, although having great regular season success in Cleveland, is looked at by most as nothing more than an average manager, because he was never able to achieve post-season glory.

The thing that impressed me most while reading this, was the research. The author, Chris Jaffe, clearly put in an extreme amount of work and time into finding so many obscure facts for this book. The section I read was only 9 pages long, but I was still amazed by the sheer amount of info that I was able to find. It’s also extremely well written, and is very insightful as to how successful managers have found success.

Anyway, there really isn’t all that much out there when it comes to manager evaluation, and that just makes Jaffe’s work all the more interesting. I’d strongly recommend giving it a look.

You can find more info on the book and read other reviews Here, and you can purchase it Here.