The long, drawn-out process to find compensation for Theo Epstein's departure for Chicago is starting to annoy some. It makes some sense that it's taking so long, though, as both the Red Sox and Cubs are in the market for new managers. It sounds like, however, Epstein won't be joined in Chicago by old friend Terry Francona.
Epstein spoke Thursday about his own managerial search in Chicago after informing Mike Quade that his services would no longer be needed as Cubs skipper. Of course, the topic of Francona came up, but it sounds like Epstein is all but ruling out bringing Francona aboard.
Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports that Epstein and Francona have already discussed the job, but Epstein revealed Thursday that both he and Francona were unsure as to whether or not it would be the "right fit."
"Clearly he would be at the top of anybody's list as far as available managers," Epstein added. "I think that's true of any organization if they were to look at it and say, 'Who is somebody with experience, who is a proven winner?' You'd realize he is at or close to the top of the list. But I think it's got to be the right fit here."
Epstein also expressed the fact that having a working relationship with Francona would obviously help, but stressed that things must fall into place.
"He needs to figure out whether this is right for him, and then as we continue our process and figure out exactly what direction we're headed, exactly who the right fit is for this organization, that would have to be the right fit, too," Epstein continued, according to the Tribune. "I'm not sure it is, and Tito is not sure it is. But we have that relationship that transcends the professional side of things. … We'll just continue to talk and see if it's the right fit for everybody."
The new Cubs president also indicated that Francona is a candidate, but it's unlikely that Francona will be called in for an interview because as Epstein said, "I know him like the back of my hand. He knows me like the back of his hand."
So, if it seems unlikely that Francona will be heading to the North Side of Chicago, who is being considered to try and guide the Cubs' on-field quest for their first world title in over a century? According to Epstein, it's a lot of the same men who are prospects to replace Francona in Boston.
Pete Mackanin, who interviewed earlier this week with Ben Cherington and the Red Sox will be one of the first managerial interviews for Esptein, new general manager Jed Hoyer and the rest of the Cubs' brass. After interviewing on Friday, Mackanin will meet with the Chicago media as he did in Boston.
Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux is also scheduled to interview for the Cubs job as well. The Red Sox have reportedly asked the Rangers permission to interview Maddux, also.