The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting the Chicago Cubs have preemptively eliminated managerial candidates Terry Francona and Joe Maddon. The Cubs executive staff -- Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and Jason McLoed -- previously worked with Francona during his eight years serving as the Boston Red Sox manger.
During his time with the Red Sox, Francona led Boston to two separate World Series titles in 2004 and 2007, but left the team this last month when Epstein (then the Red Sox GM) did not exercise his contract option.
Terry Francona leaves behind him a legacy of winning in Boston, but also the scandal that followed the historic collapse of the 2011 Boston Red Sox, who failed to reach the playoffs after their 9.5 game lead over the Tampa Bay disappear in a single month. The collapse occurred amidst allegations and reports of players drinking beer and eating chicken in the locker room and dugout during games.
Joe Maddon, the present manager of the Tampa Bay Rays and an analytically progressive manager, is apparently not among the Cubs' candidates. However, his bench coach, Dave Martinez, appears to be on the list, but Maddon himself has been eliminated as a candidate. Maddon, who helped orchestrate the opposite end of the Red Sox collapse in 2011, has also been mentioned as a possible replacement for St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa -- recently retired -- but the Cards have also shown little interest.
The Times reports the top two candidates appear to be Texas Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux and Milwaukee Brewers hitting coach Dave Sveum -- which should make the hiring process interesting as the Red Sox have also focused on those same candidates.
Stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago for more information and updates concerning the Cubs' search for a new manager, and drop by Baseball Nation for more news and notes around the league.