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In professional sports, the essence of effective management boils down to one thing.

The Major League Baseball season is a long one, divided into two parts — the regular season and every other month that precedes and follows the regular season.

Right now, some or all of the teams that finished out of the money in 2019 have hired or will be hiring new managers for 2020.

That’s because the traditional mid-season and/or post-season firing of managers requires teams to go out and hire the next manager they will inevitably fire.

It’s all part of the game, and no one knows better than managers who are hired to be fired.

Take Joe Maddon. He’s the new skipper of the California Angels. The 65-year-old Maddon signed a three-year deal with the Angels and told reporters he’d like to run the team longer than that.

He became available after the Cubs opted not to re-sign him when his five-year contract expired. His sin for not being retained was failing for the first time to get the Cubs into the postseason this year.

“What have you done for me lately?” is MLB’s credo.

No wonder managers try to get the most secure deal they can for the most money and the best perks. If they’re not going to look out for themselves, no one else will.

Meanwhile, the Cubs announced their new manager, David Ross.

The longtime catcher, first-time manager is a fan favorite, a players favorite, a management favorite.

But just wait until his team loses a few games or he disciplines one of his former buddies on the Cubs roster.

Popularity fades fast in professional sports, and the only thing that keeps it at bay is winning, winning and more winning.

Even Cardinals fans should wish Ross good luck, because he, like all managers, will need it to succeed in a business that is so unforgiving.