The Chicago Cubs continue their search for a new manager this week and have already determined a field of candidates, but that field just got a tad smaller as former Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona told a Chicago radio show earlier on Wednesday that he's pulled himself out of the running for the job.
Speaking on the "Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000, Francona said that he wanted to take a step back from the game after interviewing for new manager gigs in both Chicago and St. Louis. The Cardinals went in another direction this week by hiring Mike Matheny, while it's unclear exactly how the Cubs viewed Francona in relation to the other candidates. He mentioned that his interest in the Cardinals gig was very real, but that he's trying to take a step back now after failing to receive an offer for that job.
To do the job correctly you have to be ready to do it all day every day. I was genuinely excited about the St. Louis job, and when it didn't happen, it allowed me to step back and rethink and, 'Ok, what do I need to do now?' It's not anything like ... the Cubs job is one of the premiere jobs out there. With Theo and [GM Jed Hoyer] there, they're going to win. May not be tomorrow, but they're going to win.
Obviously it's hard to speculate on why Francona is choosing to take some time off, but presumably he's being honest when it says that it's mostly just about him trying to relax and get some perspective. Part of me does wonder if he saw the Cubs' roster, envisioned a long rebuilding period, and decided that he'd rather manage somewhere where he can win now.