Inside Pitch: Wait Continues

While general manager Jim Hendry is not tipping his hand on the Cubs' managerial search, there has been plenty of speculation that Lou Piniella was his No. 1 choice.

But Hendry has also been heavily interested in San Diego manager Bruce Bochy, who is rumored in some circles to be atop on his list.

The Cubs likely will try to name a manager between the end of the league championship series and the beginning of the World Series later in the week.

Hendry was interested in Bochy in 2002 when he eventually hired Dusty Baker, but that door was closed because Bochy was under contract with San Diego and the Padres did not allow him to interview.

Despite leading the Padres to back-to-back postseason appearances in 2005 and 2006, and having one year left on his contract, Bochy has been told he is free to interview with other teams. Over the weekend, the Cubs were expected to interview him.

Piniella is still in the mix after he withdrew from consideration for the San Francisco vacancy. Joe Girardi was interviewed once by the Cubs and twice by Washington.

Cubs broadcaster Bob Brenly, who managed Arizona to a World Series title, is also under consideration by the Cubs and picked up an interview on Thursday. Minor league skippers Mike Quade and Pat Listach received interviews for the manager's job, but it would be more likely they would fill coaching roles on the parent club's staff.

There are also reports that Jim Fregosi has contacted the Cubs to express his interest in the job.

The job opened up after the season when Baker did not have his contract renewed. It is believed that the Cubs would prefer a big-name and proven manager for the position.

Hendry has two years to go on his contract and not only needs to bring in a candidate he feels good about, but must then turn around and get the personnel to fix a team that had back-to-back losing seasons in 2005 and 2006 -- including a last-place finish this year.


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