Word on the street is that Sandy and the gang prefer a manager with prior big league experience. Like any true sabermetrician, I decided to test that whether experience managing matters. I took a look at every manager in the divisional era (post-1969) who had managed more than 800 games (about 5 seasons) with more than one managerial job to see if their winning percentage improved with experience. I think the results may surprise:ManagerJob 1 Winning %After Job 1 Winning %Tony LaRussa.506.543Bobby Cox.451.570Joe Torre.405.564Sparky Anderson.596.516Lou Pinella.537.515Jim Leyland.496.495Chuck Tanner.492.495Dusty Baker.540.498Bruce Bochy.494.498Whitey Herzog.341.543John McNamara.554.478Mike Hargrove.550.444Billy Martin.599.549Art Howe.484.506Frank Robinson.496.471Bobby Valentine.490.534Jim Fregosi.488.483Felipe Alou.491.529Phil Garner.477.490Davey Johnson.588.538Jack McKeon.512.520Bill Virdon.560.511Terry Francona.440.577Buck Showalter.539.506Don Zimmer.375.535Jimy Williams.538.534Buck Rodgers.549.495Johnny Oates.519.515Roger Craig.471.509Jim Riggleman.385.457Jim Tracy.527.485Jerry Manuel.515.489Charlie Manuel.537.560Jeff Torborg.439.480Buddy Bell.399.428Pat Corrales.494.466Don Baylor.484.459Gene Lamont.551.456Darrell Johnson.539.385Bob Melvin.481.498Rene Lachemann.438.431Ken Macha.568.485George Bamberger.566.428Dick Howser.636.525Dallas Green.565.450Tom Trebelhorn.515.434Terry Collins.532.481Preston Gomez.363.438Hal McRae.508.366Jim LeFebrve.479.500 (not including interim)Larry Bowa.389.522Joe Altobelli.485.559Del Crandall.445.415Bob Lemon.487.547Bob Boone.468.444Doug Rader.437.518The surprising answer: generally speaking, managers who had win percentages below .500 in job one, tend to improve subsequently. Managers who succeed in their first job, tend to fall off in subsequent positions.Why might this be? I think the answer is that a manager who gets fired from a team where he has been successful is probably getting fired because that team has information that the manager isn’t really that special. The next team who hires that manager is more likely than not hiring the track record, not the individual. In turn, that tells us something broader about the decision-making abilities of the organization writ large. By contrast, a manager who struggles in their first job, but still gets additional positions has probably impressed those outside his initial organization in some way that convinces the organization that the manager could do a good job if given the right mix of players. That too tells us something about how that organization makes decisions.What is the something we learn about organizational decision-making? Namely, that better organizations evaluate skills and fit, not just past performance. It’s like mutual fund prospectuses (and trial lawyer ads in New York) say, past performance is no guarantee of future results.So, what does our (admittedly unscientific) study of managers tell us about who the Mets should hire next? Well, if they are going to hire a manager with experience, better to hire one with experience losing. Of the current candidates, Clint Hurdle and Bob Melvin fit the bill nicely, but fans might be wary of Terry Collins—he managed to a .532 winning percentage in Houston, but only a .481 in Anaheim.