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Odds of Hanging On

The days of Sparky Anderson are over. Not many managers spend three decades managing in the majors. But success is job security. If you win, you will have a job. If you lose, you won’t. You might get a second chance if people like you and your career as a player made you legendary. You might even get a third, fourth, and fifth chance, like Billy Martin got from George Steinbrenner.

There are few guarantees in this world, and even fewer in the world of pro sports. According to sports writer RJ Anderson, most managerial jobs last around four seasons. Which is why it is so important to negotiate a handsome salary at the start. It might not last too long. Unfortunately, not all major league franchises are created equal (isn't that from the Declaration of Independence?). Teams in huge cities bring in more fans, sell more tickets, hot dogs, and ice cream. As a result, they make a lot more cash. Think about it— is New York City going to bring in more people than Cleveland? (Sorry, Cleveleland.) The answer is, to quote Sarah Palin, "you betcha." This is great if you happen to be on, or coach, a super rich team. If you are not, however, your chances of signing a giant contract are slim. And if you don't coach your boys to a title, you will be on the chopping block next season. Those are the breaks…but you could always be working in a cubicle.

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