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Nearly decision time for Sox and Cubs

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  November 12, 2011 10:00 AM

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General manager Jed Hoyer indicated to reporters on Friday that the the Cubs are down to four candidates to become manager:

Sandy Alomar Jr.
Pete Mackanin
Mike Maddux
Dale Sveum

The Red Sox, as you know, are down to five:

Sandy Alomar Jr.
Gene Lamont
Torey Lovullo
Pete Mackanin
Dale Sveum

Lamont is interviewing today. By this time next week, the Sox plan to have the field narrowed to two. Ben Cherington will then make his case to ownership and somebody will get the job a few days before Thanksgiving if all goes to plan.

It'll be interesting to see how it all shakes out. The respective teams obviously have similar values in terms of what sort of manager they're seeking. The Red Sox have a much more talented roster, but a clubhouse that needs a firm hand. The Cubs need somebody who can put Theo Epstein's plan into action.

Could get it to a point where one man is offered both jobs? For Alomar, Mackanin or Sveum, it would be a win-win. The teams play in classic parks, have passionate fans and large payrolls. But the pressure is more on Epstein in Chicago. In Boston, it will be on the new manager.

My guess? Maddux in Chicago and Sveum in Boston. If it were my call, it would be Lovullo. He's going to make an excellent manager someday.

Sveum played for Lamont for four years in his career (with the White Sox in 1992 and with the Pirates in 1996-97 and 1999) so you have to wonder if the Sox are hoping to make Sveum the manager and Lamont his bench coach. They would then have to hire a strong pitching coach.

Ben Cherington said Friday that he has started to compile names, but would work closely with the next manager before making that decision.

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