Theo Epstein, who left the Red Sox to become president of baseball operations for the Cubs, said yesterday he also plans to interview Philadelphia Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin and Texas Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux.
“Clearly, (Francona) would be at the top of anybody’s list as far as available managers,” Epstein said. “I think it has to be the right fit here. I’m not sure it is, and Tito’s not sure it is.”
Francona, Epstein’s only managerial hire during his nine years as the Red Sox general manager, led Boston to World Series titles in 2004 and 2007. The 52-year-old manager, who was 744- 552 in eight seasons in Boston, left after the team’s collapse in September kept it out of the playoffs.
Francona, who had a 285-363 record as manager of the Phillies in 1997-2000, also has been mentioned as a candidate for the managerial job with the St. Louis Cardinals -- who are seeking to replace Tony La Russa.
The Cubs, with a 71-91 record, finished the season fifth in the six-team National League Central division. The team hasn’t won a World Series in 103 years.
Mackanin, 60, has been bench coach in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and interim manager for the Pirates and Reds.
Maddux, 50, spent six seasons as the Milwaukee Brewers’ pitching coach and the last three with the Rangers, who lost the World Series title to the Cardinals. He told reporters yesterday he would meet with the Cubs and Red Sox next week if his laryngitis clears up.
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