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15 Reviews
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars he's done it again
Without a doubt, Bill James is THE man who can best shed light on those forgotten heroes of yesteryear and today along with focusing on what or who are the greats.

By tackling the subject of mgrs. he's added another feather in his cap regarding baseball history. The book is simply chock full of astute observations, great stats, and even better off-the-wall...
Published on September 11, 1997 by Brian Maitland

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Loses steam
Admittedly a Bill James fan, I found this book to be only mildly interesting. It was surprising how many mistakes were in the book as well, i.e. typographical errors, misspellings, wrong words, etc. Whoever edited this book needs to find another career. All in all though, it just did not hold my interest as a baseball fan.
Published 6 months ago by nealrob


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars he's done it again, September 11, 1997
By 
Brian Maitland (Vancouver, BC, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The BILL JAMES GUIDE TO BASEBALL MANAGERS: From 1870 to Today (Hardcover)
Without a doubt, Bill James is THE man who can best shed light on those forgotten heroes of yesteryear and today along with focusing on what or who are the greats.

By tackling the subject of mgrs. he's added another feather in his cap regarding baseball history. The book is simply chock full of astute observations, great stats, and even better off-the-wall stories.

The way the book is laid out also does not overwhelm you because it covers the entire history of the game. James breaks it down by decade and gives you a good feel for the eras and the managers who made them.

I can hardly wait to see what James tackles next.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book about a neglected topic., June 5, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: The BILL JAMES GUIDE TO BASEBALL MANAGERS: From 1870 to Today (Hardcover)
There are a few other books that deal exclusively

with baseball managers and I've read most of them.

None deal with the subject as objectively or with as

much detail and enthusiasm as Bill James' new offering. Besides the

celebrated managers of baseball history such as Stengel,

McGraw, Mack and others, there are great pieces on lesser

known managers such as Bill McKechnie, Fred Haney, Spencer

Abbot and Billy Southworth. James also details a few objective

ways to discuss and evaluate a manager's accomplishments.

The book maps out the trends of various managerial strategies

such as the sacrifice bunt and the use of a bullpen. Anyone who

loves baseball will find this book hard to put down. And it'll make

you think. As James says "managers are fascinating people" and this

book makes for many hours of fascinating reading.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book about a topic that doesn't receive much attention, October 21, 2009
By 
John J. Franco (Swissvale, PA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The BILL JAMES GUIDE TO BASEBALL MANAGERS: From 1870 to Today (Hardcover)
How exciting can a book about managers really be? I am a huge fan of the Bill James Historical Abstract and I like a lot of James' other work (What Happened to the Hall of Fame, etc). So I was willing to give this book a try. 4 stars is probably generous - 3.5 would be better - but James does as good a job as can be expected given the material he has to work with. I really am a huge baseball fan but I found this to be a bit dry at times.

The format is similar to the Historical Abstract - it has the "Decade in a box" feature which provides some common data about each decade. Interspersed with the decade boxes are articles about managers and other happenings from the decade.

James profiles about 20-25 managers in much greater detail - examining their tendencies, their styles and the players who played for them. The manager profiles are definitely the best part of the book.

James does attempt to come up with a rating system for managers, which is pretty good. He also attempts to come up with what he thinks would be a useful statistical record for managers. This book was written in the mid-90s, and the proposed stats are almost a mirror image of what Baseball Prospectus manager profiles each year. Give James a point there if they really are working from his template.

If you want to learn more about baseball history from a different perspective, this is a great book to check out. I just wish that James had covered more managers in detail, since that was the best section of the book. Maybe someday we'll get an updated paperback version that includes Joe Torre and some of the more interesting old-time managers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SO GOOD; WHY IS IT OUT OF PRINT?, January 3, 2008
By 
This review is from: The BILL JAMES GUIDE TO BASEBALL MANAGERS: From 1870 to Today (Hardcover)
Why is this book is out of print?
Why did it never go paperback?
I'm a fan of nearly all Bill James' work; but this is his best. I found it in the public library and had to buy my own copy online for about $30, used.
This is absolutely Bill James' most effective integration of numbers and age-old baseball questions. He must have been very pleased to write this and very disappointed that it didn't find a more enthusiastic audience.
Let's hope he ignores the sales numbers, goes with his gut, and puts out a new edition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, December 29, 2008
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This review is from: The BILL JAMES GUIDE TO BASEBALL MANAGERS: From 1870 to Today (Hardcover)
Some people complain that James relies on numbers too much sometimes - this book obviously took some writing and research, and uses very little in the way of numbers - I also wish it would've been available in paperback one day but that isnt likely to happen. James writes about a number of famous managers and their managing tendencies - I'm curious to how he got his info and where from on their tendencies - if you need to find a book on baseball managers, this is the one to buy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful analysis, January 14, 2014
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This review is from: The BILL JAMES GUIDE TO BASEBALL MANAGERS: From 1870 to Today (Hardcover)
Books about managers are hard to come by and this one fits the bill rather nicely. Interesting analysis on the managers only made me want to read more of the same on a larger group of managers (Billy Martin for example). A very good read as usual from Mr James.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Loses steam, June 29, 2014
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Admittedly a Bill James fan, I found this book to be only mildly interesting. It was surprising how many mistakes were in the book as well, i.e. typographical errors, misspellings, wrong words, etc. Whoever edited this book needs to find another career. All in all though, it just did not hold my interest as a baseball fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Baseball at its best, June 22, 2014
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Gentlemen;

This book is a detailed survey of all the top managers in baseball. It is a very good book on baseball history and the patterns of the managers.
I like it,

David O Karickhoff
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fun Study of Important Baseball History., December 5, 2014
This review is from: The BILL JAMES GUIDE TO BASEBALL MANAGERS: From 1870 to Today (Hardcover)
I am a huge historical baseball fan and I love this book. I love the Bill James Historical Abstract #1 and then this one 2nd among the Bill James Collection. If you think you might like it it will greatly exceed expectation. You will learn in a fun way about the famous managers of the past that you just had an inkling about previously. You will come away knowing what makes each of these mangers different and special. You will come away knowing about special baseball incidents that took place long ago that you had never heard about before. You will smile and laugh.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!, August 8, 2014
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Bill James has done it again. Very detailed, I especially like his analysis of managers of different eras. James goes a long ways towards having a definitive set of tools to evaluate managers.
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The BILL JAMES GUIDE TO BASEBALL MANAGERS: From 1870 to Today
The BILL JAMES GUIDE TO BASEBALL MANAGERS: From 1870 to Today by Bill James (Hardcover - May 14, 1997)
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