The Bill James Guide to Baseball Managers: a short review

This is a largely descriptive, extremely chronological examination of the evolution of managerial roles, and of tactical and strategic developments, over the history of professional baseball. Each decade gets a chapter; each chapter consists of an overview, detailed portraits of a handful of historically-important managers, anecdotes about interesting events, and an occasional topical essay.

Around mid-book there’s an excellent essay about the ways we might compare managers, and of the pitfalls inherent in trying to do so. Late in the book there’s an essay about the statistical information which might be used to describe a manager’s career. Other essays discuss use of the sacrifice bunt, evolution of relief pitching, and similar issues.

All in all, a valuable book.

This short review was originally published on LibraryThing.

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