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.506.543
Bobby Cox.451.570
Joe Torre.405.564
Sparky Anderson.596.516
Lou Pinella.537.515
Jim Leyland.496.495
Chuck Tanner.492.495
Dusty Baker.540.498
Bruce Bochy.494.498
Whitey Herzog.341.543
John McNamara.554.478
Mike Hargrove.550.444
Billy Martin.599.549
Art Howe.484.506
Frank Robinson.496.471
Bobby Valentine.490.534
Jim Fregosi.488.483
Felipe Alou.491.529
Phil Garner.477.490
Davey Johnson.588.538
Jack McKeon.512.520
Bill Virdon.560.511
Terry Francona.440.577
Buck Showalter.539.506
Don Zimmer.375.535
Jimy Williams.538.534
Buck Rodgers.549.495
Johnny Oates.519.515
Roger Craig.471.509
Jim Riggleman.385.457
Jim Tracy.527.485
Jerry Manuel.515.489
Charlie Manuel.537.560
Jeff Torborg.439.480
Buddy Bell.399.428
Pat Corrales.494.466
Don Baylor.484.459
Gene Lamont.551.456
Darrell Johnson.539.385
Bob Melvin.481.498
Rene Lachemann.438.431
Ken Macha.568.485
George Bamberger.566.428
Dick Howser.636.525
Dallas Green.565.450
Tom Trebelhorn.515.434
Terry Collins.532.481
Preston Gomez.363.438
Hal McRae.508.366
Jim LeFebrve.479.500 (not including interim)
Larry Bowa.389.522
Joe Altobelli.485.559
Del Crandall.445.415
Bob Lemon.487.547
Bob Boone.468.444
Doug Rader.437.518
The 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.