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And just like that, the Cubs were back down to five candidates for manager.

Not a day after acknowledging that Terry Francona was indeed a candidate for the Chicago Cubs’ open managerial position, the Cubs are going to have to go back to believing he’s not.

That’s because Francona – perhaps spurred by the rumors in the last 24 hours, perhaps spurred by a discussion with Theo Epstein – today said he will not be managing for any team in 2012, including the Cubs.

“When I interviewed in St. Louis, I was genuinely excited about it,” Francona said this afternoon. “St. Louis was such an exciting opportunity. But we were all beaten up at the end of the year, and after [interviewing] I took a step back and began to look at things realistically.

“I’ve talked to Theo numerous times. We both know each other well enough where we can be honest with each other. I don’t think it’s the right opportunity.

“I need to take a step back and re-energize. That’s probably in my best interest right now. In fairness to myself, it’s the best thing to do.”

The remaining Cubs’ candidates are Phillies’ bench coach Pete Mackanin, Brewers’ hitting coach Dale Sveum, Rangers’ pitching coach Mike Maddux, Indians’ bench coach Sandy Alomar, Jr., and Red Sox’s bench coach DeMarlo Hale. The Cubs have been in contact with all of the candidates since they interviewed, and are expected to meet with Sveum today. Follow-up with the other candidates is expected to continue throughout the week.

A decision could come as soon as late in the week, or early next week.

Francona’s removal from consideration, ultimately, isn’t the worst thing in the world. While experienced and successful, Francona would have come with a little baggage, a hefty salary, and an unshakeable feeling that the Cubs weren’t so much the Cubs anymore, as they were the Red Sox West. That last part wouldn’t bother everyone, but it would have bothered some.

  • johnbres2

    Poll: Which happens first: compensation resolution w/ BoSox or Cubs naming manager?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ha. I say both managers are named before we get word on compensation.

    • DRock

      Compensation resolution? For what? What are you talking about?

    • Jeff

      I’ve been reading that the compensation could be solved with some sort of trade between the teams.(I might have even read that here somewhere)  If that’s the case, the manager is going to be hired first by a long shot.  I think the compensation gets decided at the December meetings.

  • http://www.calliopevoices.com EtotheR

    It’s also possible that Tito was told he wasn’t getting the job, isn’t interested in working for a secondary team, and decided to save a touch of face by being the one to distance himself from the Cubs.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I agree:

      …perhaps spurred by a discussion with Theo Epstein…

      I could see it having played out that way.

  • johnbres2

    Brett-do you have an opinion (gut feeling, etc.) on who will the Cubs next manager?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Gut says the Cubs want Maddux, but Maddux is unsure. If it isn’t Maddux, the Cubs want Sveum. But Sveum might prefer the Red Sox. If it isn’t Sveum, it just might be Alomar.

      • hansman1982

        I wouldn’t mind Alomar one bit, then again I caught in high school (I know, noone gives a rats ass) so maybe I am partial to catchers, although they do have a good track record at becoming good managers.

        At the end of the day though I want Maddux, not because of his smarts or connection to Mad Dog but because of the way he handled the press conference.  Pinella (who was touted as a tough cookie) said that he had no idea what he was walking into.  That pressure comes from the media and if Maddux can consistently handle them that well he should be able to get them on his side early and that will probably help ease some of the pressure.

        • nonesuch

          I’m pulling for Alomar and Maddux as a close second. I’m partial to catchers as managers because of the long track record of successful managers. Alomar has a baseball pedigree beyond dispute and has the Latino/language cultural advantage over the other candidates. If the future of the Cubs is developing players from Latin America this can be a big plus.

          Also, I thought Alomar was more relaxed in front of the media while Maddux certainly played it well, that can take a toll over the course of a long season. Lastly, I preferred Alomar’s “stun gun” response over Maddux’s “burping” when asked about handling Zambrano. Which response do we think Z preferred? That said something to me.

          • Jeff

            I don’t think you can understate the family that Alomar comes from either.  His dad was a long time coach and he’s been around big league baseball since a young age.  He clearly understands the game.  I think it’s the outside stuff that we would have to worry about with him.

            • poopypants mcgee

              i can never understand them. i dont speak dominican. but baseball has been very very good to me

  • cdc

    Brett…I think that maybe this announcement from Francona might mean that the Cubs have decided on a guy. Here’s hoping Maddux has informed them that he’s ready to commit and after that conversation Theo phoned Francona to tell him. And with that he decided to put managing on hold since it didn’t happen for him in St. Louis and the Cubs got the go ahead from their main target.

    I hope it’s maddux at this point. But it also has a feel that maybe they just aren’t all that thrilled with anyone, it’s hard to tell.

    found it interesting in listening to Tito on waddle & silvy this morning…i had forgotten he managed Jordan at AA, which means that he’d managed in the minors before getting the Sox job. Sounds like a similar path that Sandberg has tried to take. i know it’s water under the bridge at this point talking about Sandberg, just surprised they never gave him a shot to interview.

    Hope this all gets sorted out soon so we can start worrying about the jimmy’s and the joe’s…tired of x’s and o’s.

    • mac

      francona managed the phillies before the red sox.

      • cdc

        correctamundo! wow…maybe too much of that good nug huh! seriously though, thanks for the reminder on that. totally forgot he did manage the Phillies. sorry for that error.

  • JulioZuleta

    1. Maddux 1a (or 1b whichever works for you). Alomar 2 (3??). Sveum. Would be ok with any of the 3 though

  • Aaron

    Yeah I think at this point the signs are pointing to Maddux > Sveum > Alomar.

  • die hard

    Tito collecting salary sitting out 2012 was mentioned today earlier by someone. Who was it?
    Why it was me! Does anyone think that maybe nobody wants to manage the Cubs given the micromanaging likely to come from several directions originating from the front office. One day Theo says do this. Next day Hoyer says do that. Following day Ricketts questions why this and not that or that and not this. Will soon resemble a Seinfeld episode.

    • Andrew

      It’s true. No managerial candidate wants to come to the Cubs and work for a front office that has a track record of putting a winning product on the field for their manager to manage. No managerial candidate wants to manage the crap players that they’ll be given with the improving (over the next few years starting with this most recent draft class) minor league system and the big-market budget of a crappy market like Chicago. May as well start calling the high school ranks to see if we can maybe convince some high school coach to step up to the plate and “take one for the team” here in Chicago. No use in interviewing any up-and-comers for the job, because obviously nobody wants it.

      Geez… nobody wants to manage here. In related news, the sky is no longer blue.

      • die hard

        Well you may be wrong again. If Sveum thinks he can be the ringmaster needed in this circus I say go for it and dont complain later.

  • Michael C

    So Tito was excited to Manage for the cardinals but remembered the Boston breakdown and started to reconsider, any chance his talk with Epstein involved Epstein saying were definitely not gonna be competitive/were going to rebuild completely which scared him away?

  • TWC

    Wait a minute, wait a minute… [shuffles papers, searches around his desk]… I thought I was told to write something down a few days ago… what was it again?  Thought it was something about Francona… huh.  Oh well.

    • Fishin Phil

      Hee, hee, hee.

    • BetterNews

      TWC—O.k. I was wrong if you are referring to me. But if you had checked all my comments you would see I had changed my mind and why.

  • Mike F

    Just a guess, but think they will trump Boston and take Sveum. Maddux could have had the job, but he’s dallied to long and think they will pull the trigger quickly on Sveum unless Maddux gives them a definitive quick answer.

    • Eric

      Would prefer Alomar Jr. if Maddux withdraws. Just seems like a better, younger face for the new Cubs.

  • grandjudy

    no tito? cubs will be better off with full-season manager rather than one who clocks out late august. Maddux I and Maddux II will at least show up.

  • johnbres2

    Rumors spreading that Maddux will withdraw

    • Fishin Phil

      Damn my gut!

      • johnbres2

        Deep breaths: out with the bad air……..in with the good!

    • JulioZuleta

      Damn, where’d you see that?

    • http://www.calliopevoices.com EtotheR

      Rumors?

      You’re the only one who has tweeted it…

      • johnbres2

        I didn’t tweet the rumor (first). Cubs Den did, saying there were “whispers”

        • http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den John Arguello

          Heard it from a source of mine. Nothing is confirmed though and I have yet to verify, so take with several grains of salt for now.

          • Jeff

            Your blog is awesome.  I’ve read a lot of interesting articles there, keep up the good work

             

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              Indeed – John’s is one of the better offerings out there.

            • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

              Completely agreed

  • Eric

    Thank God. I’d prefer someone like Maddux, who not only would be fun to watch post game interviews. He would be a new face of the Cubs. Francona as many have said would just be too much Boston. And I want that fresh new face for the Cubs since we are kinda “starting over” in a sense. Even Alomar Jr. would be ok with me. I don’t like Svenum or Mackinin (sorry for SP).

  • Sayueri

    Maddux is my first choice. After him I’d rather have Alomar. Sveum does nothing for me.

  • Cliffy

    QT @cst_cubs: Cubs manager process nears finish. Ricketts has met with team’s choice.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Tight ship these guys run. No leaks at all.

      Based on the meeting with Sveum (and the strange way it was being discussed by Hoyer), I’m guessing he’s the guy. Cubs couldn’t say so, though, because the Red Sox might want him, too.

      • die hard

        Any rumors of a new name in the mix? Raise this only because if Red Sox take Sveum and Maddux bails, with Francona out of the picture my feeling that those left are not what Cubs are looking for.

      • BetterNews

        Brett—I have no problem with Sveum whatsoever. I think he would make an excellent manager.

        • BetterNews

          I do have a problem with Alomar though, as I have expressed in previous comments.

      • bacboris

        Brett, I really hope so. I will happily take Sveum as a consolation prize if Maddux is out. However, I will be the first (maybe too brashly) to say that I have no confidence in Alomar as a Manager. Hell, after listening to his interviews, I wouldn’t want him as any kind of coach for the Major League Team.

        Add note: It looks like Better News beat me by a couple of minutes. At least its nice to have a brother in arms on this issue.

        • BetterNews

          Let’s shake, brother, its a tie.

  • Mike F

    I think you’re both right and it’s an outstanding choice. He was likely the front runner all along. And while almost all of us were pulling for Maddux, he had an excellent chance, but he chose not to do this by not making it clear he would take it. I understand the family concerns, but this would brought him financial security, professional opportunity that isn’t guaranteed to come around, and would have bought he and his family a lot of opportunity. Don’t fault him for not leaving, but don’t fault for them for not waiting and trying to convince him either.

  • die hard

    Jose Oquendo interest anyone as mgr? Got good credentials and knows the league. Would be nice coup de grat against Cards too. But would have to ask for permission since hes been rehired as coach. But he could be our answer to Ozzie Guillen leaving town. Would be in demand every day for intvws.

  • Derek

    Is Rickett’s in Milwaukee. Maybe he went to Texas today? After all GM meetings in Milwaukee, I wouldn’t think he would be there.

    • MrCub73

      Sounds like Maddux is probably out, very well could be Sveum since they met with him last night, but it could still be Alomar, he does live in Chicago.

  • MC2

    Chi Town Nation reporting sources close to Hoyer leaking Sveum is the new manager… …

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I am not familiar with that site, but it’s a pretty logical guess at this point.

    • BetterNews

      MC2—Yes, I never heard of Chi Town Nation either.

  • Mike F

    He’s bright, he’s got presence, he’s got the respect of the locker room and you have to love his low key, quiet, john wayne type demeanor. Don’t get me wrong I liked certain things about Lou’s approach and he was a master of the media, but he was burnt out. And Quade never had his candle lit. I thought he made an idiot of himself continually with the media. Sveum may not be a media master, but he could develop into a version of LaRussa as a droll, straight forward, what you see is what you get honest guy with them. Which is more than they often deserve. I think he’s a great choice for this time and place and a coup as he was clearly Boston’s first choice.

  • Kyle

    Sveum is supposed to be a big believer in using advanced batted-ball data to aggressively position defenders. I think there’s a lot of value to be had there, so I’m really excited about that part of the equation if he’s hired.

  • MC2

    Cubs Hire Dale Sveum . Not much there…Story/blurb has been pulled and reposted about 6 times now… …For what it’s worth! Just click on the headline.

    Update: CSNMooney

  • ACS

    It is going to be Francona

    • die hard

      why do you say that?

  • http://www.fightoutsider.com Ryan

    Jon Heyman and Ken Rosenthal are both saying the Cubs have offered the job to Sveum.

    • die hard

      did he accept and at what salary?

  • http://www.fightoutsider.com Ryan

    No details yet and no word on whether he has accepted it technically.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/11/sveum-frontrunner-for-cubs-managerial-opening.html

  • MightyBear

    They say Sveum will make a decision w/in 24 hours. Maybe sooner.

    • die hard

      who’s they?

  • art

    can’t believe it’s a family thing with Mike Maddux. his 2 kids are college age, they can go to college anywhere. that leaves him and his wife to make a decision on the best job in baseball. is he scared of the big city or failure?

    • MC2

      Both kids are in college in Texas and he and his wife are in the middle of building a house. 1st time the whole family has been together in some time according to some reports… …

      • BetterNews

        What reports might they be? I am not aware of the media offering personal information to the public whether it be Maddux or John down the street. Please back up your statement with evidence. Mike Maddux personal issues are not public record. Hello.

        • hogie

          You are being sarcastic, right? There are entire media conglomerates built on divulging personal information to the public. One could find out where his kids go to college and that he is building a house by asking anyone in the neighborhood. Betternews, you don’t have to comment to every posting. Hello.

          P.S.- Feel free to tell dady Brett about how much everyone is picking on you for no reason. When we were kids, that was called being a tatletale.

          • BetterNews

            Excuse you!

            • MC2

              HELLO, EXCUSE YOU Better News,

              “It appears the family considerations weigh heavily with Maddux, and he does not want to uproot them. Maddux is building a home in the Dallas area and has two daughters are attending college there. The family was finally back together in June for the first time in three years, Maddux said during his interview.”

              Taken from muskat.mlblogs.com!  I’m not bringing it unless I can back it. Maybe you’re not aware because you didn’t use your search button today. Besides you never considered Maddux a true contender in the heavyweight manager bout anyway, right?

              • BetterNews

                Don’t really pay attention to Muskat anymore. She seems to be second or third anymore.

              • BetterNews

                Nope! Never did consider Mike Maddux a contender accept for the weight he brought with his last name.

            • hogie

              Sorry, forgot you like your sources quoted

              “Brett—-I’m taking a lot of heat on the night shift, a lot not deserved.

              I have a right to defend myself, although it will be with kindness an understanding, but I also have a breaking point!”

              Maybe something is lost in the internet’s inability to reflect tone, but this seems like whining to me. Also, maybe lost in translation again, but ending your statement with “Hello.” sounds like you are a pompous ass, especially when it follows such a weakly thought out statement as that one. I have a breaking point too, apparently it involves a few wiskey and cokes… and you. BwaHaHaHa!

              • BetterNews

                Yep–Stand by that statement 100%. Whats your point?

        • Ol’CharlieBrown

          I beg to differ, BetterNews. Since when does the media NOT offer personal information to the public? That’s what they thrive on. Terry Francona was in the media plenty for his personal issues. John Lackey is another one. If any player/manager has a personal issue worth talking about, you can be certain the media will let us know.

          Plus, after Maddux pulled his name out of the candidacy for Red Sox manager, he was quoted as saying how this was the first time his family has resided together in 3 years. It was a big part of his decision and he made it publicly known early on.

          • BetterNews

            Ol’CarlieBrown—Yes I agree. However my point was/is people should not state as “fact” the things that have not been “officially released” and things
            that nobody would know about. To say Maddux is not accepting the position with the Cubs because of personal issues is a “stretch”.

            I must then ask, WHY did he interview for the job?

  • LouCub

    Maddux would have been my first choice, but you Sveum is a solid choice as well..MacKannin would have bugged the ever living shite out of me

    • BetterNews

      Well, see, I never even considered Mike Maddux a true contender in this heavyweight manager bout. It was just his last name that grabbed everybody’s attention.

  • Cecil

    Brett, what are the chances the Cubs will Go after Fielder if they sign sveum

    • BetterNews

      Slim to none. Did I say “slim”? OOPS!(LoL)

      • Sweetjamesjones

        Someone please cue the Price is Right failure horn already.

  • Ol’CharlieBrown

    Judging from this off of MLB.com, it looks like Maddux may have been the favorite and Sveum second in line, and as soon as Maddux pulled his name out, the Cubs made their offer to Sveum.

    “Apparently, Maddux is no longer a viable option, and Dale Sveum may be the front-runner. Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations, and general manager Jed Hoyer have conducted followup interviews with each of the candidates, and Maddux appears to have taken himself out of contention.”

    Makes you wonder if they would be announcing Maddux as the new manager right now if he had really been ready to do it …

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