Yesterday, in a bit of a surprise, the Chicago Cubs revealed that general manager Jed Hoyer recently interviewed Boston Red Sox bench coach DeMarlo Hale by phone for the Cubs’ open manager position. Last week, Hoyer suggested that it was unlikely the Cubs would add another interviewee to their already-completed list of four (Pete Mackanin, Dale Sveum, Mike Maddux, Sandy Alomar, Jr.), but said he wouldn’t rule it out.
Hale, 50, was originally thought to be a candidate for the Cubs’ gig, given his Boston connection and the belief that he was on Theo Epstein’s short list of candidates when he still labored in Boston.
Epstein said he didn’t need to interview Hale, given their long-standing familiarity (much in the same way Epstein said he wouldn’t need to interview Terry Francona, with whom Epstein says he still speaks – take from that what you will). Instead, because Hoyer had been away from the Red Sox for two years, Theo and Jed felt a phone interview, conducted by Jed, would be the most appropriate process.
Hale has been a Red Sox coach since 2006, when he took over as the team’s third base coach from Dale Sveum. Before that, Hale was a coach with the Rangers, and a long-time minor league manager. Hale hails from Chicago, and was a finalist for the open Blue Jays’ managerial spot in 20110.
Epstein says, with Hale in the bank, the Cubs have completed their interviews for the job, and will now enter the decision-making phase. Epstein hopes that decision can be made this week, but cautions that there’s no deadline.
“[Just] getting it right [is the most important thing],” Epstein said. “There’s no real deadline, but this is an important week. I’d like to think we can move into the decision-making phase this week.”
And, despite reports to the contrary, Epstein says the Cubs aren’t planning a formal round of second interviews. Instead, the Cubs will reach out to a candidate (or candidates) for some follow up when the list is whittled down further.
If I had to guess, we’ll be hearing some more on the search this week.