Evaluating Billy

Chris Jaffe, who writes for the Hardball Times, has a new book coming out this December titled Evaluating Baseball's Managers, 1876-2008. The Hardball Times is running an excerpt from it about Billy Martin. Here's how it begins:

Billy Martin was the most fearless manager in baseball history. In 20 years of managing, he never backed down from a challenge. As has been well documented by others, Martin consistently caused dramatic improvements to his squads immediately upon arrival by pushing them hard. The A’s went from losing 108 games to fighting for .500. The Rangers, who had posted back-to-back seasons in which they had played .350 ball, suddenly won half their games when Martin arrived. The Twins and Tigers improved by 18 and 12 games for him respectively. The Yankees won their first pennant in a dozen years under him.

I'm looking forward to reading this book, particularly for Jaffe's evaluations of managers I know well. How is Torre viewed? Was Grady Sizemore Little criminally underrated as I suspect? (I kid:)). And I also want to read about legendary managers such as Earl Weaver and Casey Stengel. This should be a fun read.

5 comments… add one

  • Grady Sizemore is indeed criminally underrated as a manager. So underrated, people keep calling him a center fielder. If they only knew! ;-)

    Paul SF November 17, 2009, 12:19 pm
  • Manager or not, at least that Grady has more size than little.

    pale blue eyes November 17, 2009, 2:07 pm
  • Because we are commenting on Grady Sizemore’s managing abilities, I do not feel bad for thread-jacking to note that your AL Cy Young winner is one Zack Greinke.
    Congrats to Zack, the third Kansas City Royal to win the CY (David Cone 1994) and Bret Saberhagen (1989).
    Cone and Saberhagen both went on to pitch for the Red Sox.

    I'mBillMcNeal November 17, 2009, 4:09 pm
  • Doh! That’s what happens when you post right before bed time.

    Nick-YF November 17, 2009, 9:43 pm
  • Cone and Saberhagen both went on to pitch for the Red Sox.
    It’s a sign of how Facebook is warping the way we communicate that my first instinct was to try to find a “Like” button somewhere, but I like this comment.
    Of course, both went on the pitch for the Red Sox well past their primes after they had much greater success for a team from New York.
    That said, Zack Greinke can post a 123 ERA+ over three seasons in Boston, as Sabes did, anytime he wants. :-)

    Paul SF November 18, 2009, 9:46 am

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