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Red Sox seek to expand their choices

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  November 17, 2011 12:26 AM

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MILWAUKEE — The Red Sox are prepared to open up their search for a new manager as the candidate they once seemed to favor, Dale Sveum, reportedly neared an agreement with Theo Epstein and the Chicago Cubs.

Team president Larry Lucchino tonight that the Sox could “absolutely” add more candidates to their list.

General manager Ben Cherington agreed that was a possibility, but said that one of the current candidates could get the job of replacing Terry Francona.

Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin has been eliminated from consideration, Cherington said. But Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr., Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont and Blue Jays first base coach Torey Lovullo remain under consideration.

Cherington claimed the Red Sox are not dissatisfied with the candidates they have, but his expectation was they would add to their list.

“We feel like there are some unique circumstances here. This is not just any manager’s job. We do feel like we’re ready to win,” Cherington said. “There are challenges related to what happened last year and just generally in the Boston market.

“I’ve been very happy with our candidates and our next manager could very well come from those candidates. But we’re not ruling out adding to that field. We’ve learned a lot asking each other questions. What is it we really need right now? Through that process, all of us have asked what our current needs are. … We don’t want to limit ourselves.”

Red Sox owners John Henry and Tom Werner, who met with Sveum earlier in the day, appear to want a candidate with more major league managerial experience. Outside of Lamont, the team has not interviewed a candidate who was anything more than an interim manager.

Cherington said it was too late in the process to hire a manager away from another team and none were under consideration.

Finding worthwhile candidates with experience could be difficult. There are former managers available such as Don Wakamatsu, Jim Riggleman or Trey Hillman. Another possibility would be ESPN’s Bobby Valentine.

Other former managers include Tony Pena, Ken Macha, Jerry Manuel, Cecil Cooper, John Gibbons, Willie Randolph, Buddy Bell, Phil Garner, Mike Hargrove, Jerry Narron, Sam Perlozzo, Lee Mazzilli, Lloyd McClendon, Dave Miley, Alan Trammell, Bob Brenly, Larry Bowa, Dave Trembley and Tom Kelly.

Cherington, Lucchino and Henry did not seem too concerned over the turn of events.

"If we expand the pool, I don’t think it has anything to do with the Cubs. I think it has more to do with the Red Sox," Cherington said.

The Red Sox initially hoped to hire a new manager before Thanksgiving.

“We’re bumping up against that,” said Cherington, who leaves Thursday for the Dominican Republic to meet with team officials there and to scout several free agent Cuban players.

In 2003, the Red Sox did not hire Francona until the first week of December. Presumably, the Red Sox would want a manager in place before the start of the Winter Meetings on Dec. 5.

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