Thursday, November 11, 2010
Thanks, Bill!Posted by Chris Jaffe
Recently, Bill James released the The 2011 Bill James Handbook. You can imagine my delight when, in the book's annual section on managers, I read the following bit on page 362:
Hey, I’ve never done this before, but I’m going to use this space to endorse a book, sort of. Chris Jaffe has written a book, Evaluating Baseball’s Managers, available from McFarland and Co., which uses methods not unlike these, but more complicated and more varied, to evaluate managers across history.
It has long been my argument that it is not our place, as sabermetricians, to stand in judgment of the performance of managers. People are careless about doing that; they pick factoids out of lists and use them to beat up on manages. Talk shows can become managerial bombing runs, often citing the info that we create. I think it is unwise for us to get into that; it creates an antagonistic relationship between managers and analysts, and frankly 99% of the info that is cited in that context is BS anyway (Baseless Speculation).
On the other hand
1) Jaffe’s research is quite outstanding, and
2) The fact that I choose not to get involved in rating or ranking managers doesn’t mean that nobody else can do it either.
I don’t know Jaffe from a hole in the wall; he’s not a friend of mine or something, and also, I have to warn you that he is not a compelling writer. He does really good research. He develops a wide range of metrics by which to compare managers like “Ballpark Adjusted Bullpen ERA” and “Leverage Points Added” and “Average Opponent Winning Percentage” (for pitchers), and I learned a great deal from reading his book.
Yeah, I'll take that. As one of my friends noted, when you've impressed Bill James, you've probably done a pretty good job.
I apologize if this comes off overly self-promotional (well, it is obviously intentionally self-promotional, but I hope it isn't overblown-ly so). Normally I wouldn't waste THT site space for something solely about my book. This ain't my personal blog, after all. That said, this ain't just an endorsement from some random guy in Tacoma. (No offense to all you random guys in Tacoma!) Besides, I really did put a heckuva lot of effort into my book.
History instructor by day, statnerd by night, Chris Jaffe leads one of the most exciting double lives imaginable; with the exception of every other double life possible to imagine. Despite his lack of comic-book-hero-worthiness, Chris enjoys farting around with this stuff. His new book, Evaluating Baseball's Managers is available for order. Chris welcomes responses to his articles via e-mail. Oh, and now he's on twitter.