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It’s official: the search for a new manager for the Chicago Cubs has officially reached obsessive watch level.

The Chicago Cubs have started the process of interviewing candidates for their managerial opening, but they aren’t the only team looking for a new manager in 2011. Among teams with openings are the Seattle Mariners, whose ownership and general manager have proved over the past year that they aren’t afraid to spend money to get the personnel that they want (query whether they spent that money wisely, but you know, glass houses and stones and all that).

So which of the Cubs’ candidates might be on the Mariners’ radar? Possibly several, but one is for sure: Ryne Sandberg.

The Mariners quietly have interest in Sandberg. They could use a breath of fresh air, some accountability, something besides what they are doing. Sandberg, as a player, was the ultimate professional.

He’s earned my respect by logging hours in the bushes. That’s hard to do, go backward in time after notching thousands of accomplishments and making millions of dollars. It shows a true love and passion for the game — traits that could help any big-league club.

Sandberg going to Chicago makes for a better story. But Sandberg going anywhere else would be better for his health and career. The Denver Post.

Why the Denver Post would have insights into the managerial machinations of the Seattle Mariners is unclear, but nevertheless, it is conceivable that, if the Cubs don’t bite on Sandberg, some other team will.

Still, I maintain that the Cubs will have their choice of several select options, and, while Sandberg may ultimately be the best, external pressures will not determine the next manager of the Chicago Cubs.

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