I received a free Kindle copy of The Cooperstown Casebook by Jay Jaffe courtesy of Net Galley and St. Martin’s PressSt. Martin’s Press, the publisher. It was with the understanding that I would post a review to Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and my history book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus pages.
I requested this book as I am an avid baseball fan and the description of this book sounded interesting. It is the first book by Jay Jaffe that I have read.
This was an interesting book and a quick read. The premise of the book is accurately described in the subtitle: Who’s in the Baseball Hall of Fame, Who Should Be In and Who Should Pack Their Plaques. The author’s suppositions, while interesting, are based solely on numbers and ratios. While he presesnts strong arguements, he appears to want to totally take the human element out of the qualification process. There is not room for the intangibles – leadership in the clubhouse or clutch pitching, hitting or fielding as examples. He also in in favor of overlooking some of the seedier side of baseball. While I can go along with overlooking the steriod era as ballplayers since the establishment of the game have always looked for an edge, I do not agree with allowing those who gambled on the game to be allowed entrance into the hall. Joe Jackson admitted that they threw the second game of the Black Sox series and Pete Rose has denied betting on the Reds while he was manager, there is not proof of it or that he may have manipulated the lineup to lose games.
This is not a book for the casual or even more than casual baseball fan. It is intended for hard core fans, but does not really present anything new (other than additional numbers) to the arguements of those who are in and shouldn’t be and those who are not and should be.