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Cubs are asking to talk to Epstein

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By Peter Abraham and Nick Cafardo
Globe Staff / October 5, 2011

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Red Sox owner John Henry took to Twitter last night and said the team is moving forward with its search for a manager - led apparently by Theo Epstein.

The Chicago Cubs , meanwhile, have filed the forms with Major League Baseball seeking permission to speak to the Red Sox general manager about the vacant position in their front office, according to a major league source.

Channel 5’s Mike Lynch reported that Red Sox ownership, in internal discussions yesterday, were considering asking MLB for compensation from the Cubs merely to speak to Epstein. Normally, compensation is contingent on the inquiring team acquiring the person from the other team.

Henry wrote that he, chairman Tom Werner, and team president Larry Lucchino were briefed on the search to replace Terry Francona by Epstein and assistant general manager Ben Cherington this week.

“Due diligence this week,’’ Henry wrote. “Calls and maybe interviews next week. Excited to once again bring in smart, creative, hands-on leadership. We have the right people looking.’’

That Epstein is apparently leading the search could indicate that he will remain with the Sox. He has a year remaining on his contract.

“We got the manager’s search right eight years ago with Tito and [Joe] Maddon as finalists,’’ wrote Henry. “We’ll secure a great manager this time as well.’’

Henry issued his first message at 8:08 p.m., replying to those who asked about the fall he had on his yacht last Friday that led to a night in the hospital with an injured neck. He missed that night’s press conference to discuss Francona’s departure as a result.

“Thanks to all of the well-wishers,’’ he wrote. “I’m fine. But it makes one appreciate health. Rushing downstairs is dangerous for an old guy.’’

One of his Twitter followers answered that Henry was a “fraud’’ for missing the press conference; Henry replied by putting some blame on Francona for his accident.

“It was sort of his fault,’’ Henry wrote. “He was in a hurry and I was trying to make it there. Believe it or not, I just ended up in the hospital trying to get to a press conference. I’ve always preferred talking with fans.’’

Henry has not replied to e-mails from the Globe regarding the team and has not spoken to reporters at length since spring training.

One of the potential managers under consideration by the Red Sox is Philadelphia bench coach Pete Mackanin.

“I’m flattered, but I don’t even want to think about that until this is over,’’ Mackanin told reporters in St. Louis before the Phillies beat the Cardinals, 3-2, in Game 3 of their NL Division Series. “I’m hoping that someone will at least give me an interview.’’

Mackanin, 60, has been on the Philadelphia staff for three years after spending a year scouting for the Yankees . He was an interim manager with the Pirates for 26 games in 2005 and with the Reds for 80 games in 2007. He was 53-53.

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.

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