He really likes using in-game replacements for his position players. His batters have fewer complete games than most of their opponents. He also does an above-average job making sure his batters and pitchers have the platoon advantage. Valentine will vary his batting order from day to day. ...Also: Randall Brown's five-part series - "Blood and Base Ball" - about the game during the Civil War: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
[But] it would be unfair and inaccurate to portray Valentine as always getting himself involved just for the sake of getting himself involved. His bullpen usage has generally been fairly normal. He's fairly average when it comes to issuing intentional walks. Also, he prefers to play for the big inning rather than one run at a time. He calls for sacrifice hits and calls on his runners to steal about as often as most managers do.
The best tool I know for evaluating managers came from a friend named Phil Birnbaum. He created two algorithms, one for hitters and the other for pitchers , designed to see how well a player under/overperformed in a given season. ... When applied to managers, it's a handy way of seeing who got the most or least out of the talent at hand. ... In short, the results make sense and pass the smell test.
[Valentine's] hitters and pitchers both exceeded projections; +76 for his hitters and +151 for pitchers. In all, that's 227 extra runs, which is among the top 30 ever. That's pretty damn good. ...
Is it a good hire? It should be. Valentine always had a reputation as a good manager. People often find him to be arrogant and cocky, but no one has ever called him stupid.
Tom Shieber (Baseball Researcher) uses his detective skills to determine the ball park and date of this Boston Braves picture (I could read this kind of stuff all day):