11/3 Francona may be added to list

If the Cubs did consider Terry Francona as a possible managerial candidate, Theo Epstein said he wouldn’t need to conduct an interview.

“I know him like the back of my hand, and he knows me like the back of his hand,” Epstein said Thursday. “Neither one of us is sure he’s the right fit [for the Cubs].”

Francona was Epstein’s first managerial hire, and only one, back in 2003. Now, Epstein is going over a list for the Cubs job. Francona is available, having left the Red Sox at the end of the season.

“Clearly, he would be at the top of anybody’s list as far as available managers,” Epstein said. “I think that’s true of any organization who looked at and said, who is somebody with experience and a proven winner who would be a real  asset. He’s got to be at or close to the top of the list. I think it has to be the right fit here. I think he needs to figure whether this is right for him.

“I’m not sure it is, and Tito’s not sure it is,” Epstein said.

Although Epstein is hoping the Cubs can have the same success the Red Sox did when he was the GM, he isn’t trying to duplicate everything in Chicago.

“I already brought in two guys who I worked closely with at the Red Sox in Jed [Hoyer] and Jason [McLeod],” Epstein said. “This doesn’t need to be the Boston show recreated in Chicago completely. I think for my growth as an executive, maybe it’s the right thing to work with a new manager, maybe for Tito’s growth as a manager it’s better to work with a new boss. As I mentioned when I left Boston, you don’t want to live in the past. Eight years, 10 years is a long time to be at one place and with the same dynamics.”

— Carrie Muskat

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