Best Managerial Jobs In MLB
The exits of Edwin Rodriguez and Jim Riggleman got SI.com thinking: What's the best managerial job in baseball? Read on to see Tom Verducci's top 10. Actually, there's a lot not to like: cramped, outdated home facilities, day baseball that saps a team in the second half, cranky fans and a history of instability (24 managers in 40 years). But you have to put the Cubs on the list for one reason: there is no championship bigger in sports than the Cubs winning the World Series.
Management stability became a franchise tradition under GM John Schuerholz and manager Bobby Cox. The player development system has been outstanding and the emphasis on youth baseball in the area is strong. Attendance isn't great (ninth or 10th in the league eight straight years) and neither is payroll (never more than $106 million), but tradition and stability here are the big draws.
Payroll is a problem here. (Never greater than $84 million.) But you get a vibrant downtown ballpark, a big homefield advantage, the best spring training facility in baseball, a strong regional fan base, a family atmosphere and amazing stability. Clint Hurdle lasted all or parts of eight seasons with the Rockies despite posting a winning record in only one of them.
New York Yankees
It's like New York itself: both the upside and the downside are extreme. You can't deny the prestige, the resources and the off-field opportunities that come with the exposure. But the mandate to win nothing less than the World Series leaves little room for joy.
Boston Red Sox
Terrific front office, huge resources, loyal, knowledgeable national fan base, a national treasure of a ballpark that has been somewhat modernized and cultural significance to a region that is unsurpassed. But the job is also is so draining. The fish bowl of Boston, the rivalry with the Yankees, the confining physical nature of Fenway, the early and late season weather, the demand to win nothing short of 95 games every year ... it exacts a toll.
St. Louis Cardinals
Baseball remains a civic treasure in St. Louis, something valued and protected by its citizens. The only downside is limited resources; the Cardinals' payroll has remained between $88 million and $109 million for seven straight years.
San Francisco Giants
The best front office stability in baseball, beautiful ballpark, an organizational commitment to develop pitching and fans that are passionate without the East Coast edge.
You get the highest payroll in the NL and sellouts every night -- the game day atmosphere is second to none -- and a front office bound to deliver the best pitching in baseball.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
This is a well-run organization with a terrific owner (Arte Moreno) and good farm system that plays in a beautiful stadium in front of great crowds in great weather and with a $141 million payroll in a division with only three other teams. So what's not to like? The Angels' current skipper, Mike Scioscia, has the most job security in baseball: He is working on a 10-year contract that pays him through 2018.
Do you realize the Twins haven't fired a manager in a quarter of a century? (Ray Miller, 1986). The franchise engenders more loyalty than any other in baseball -- from minor league coaches to scouts to secretaries. It also enjoys a beautiful new ballpark, great fan support, rich tradition, no natural rival, a $113 million payroll and an easy division. (World Series titles by the four other AL Central teams over their past 100 combined seasons: 1.) Under manager Ron Gardenhire, the Twins have been knocked out in the first round of the playoffs five straight times while going 2-15 -- and Twins fans go right on enjoying their walleye on a stick with the same happy attitude. There's one major down side to the job: long underwear required two to three months out of the season.