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Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Maddux could be favorite for Cubs job

By Bruce Levine

CHICAGO -- Mike Maddux's interview with the Chicago media was an A-plus. His time spent with Cubs officials was the same, and he may be the favorite to be the Chicago Cubs' next manager.

That is if he and his family say yes.

Mike Maddux
Mike Maddux was a hit in his interview session with Chicago media on Wednesday.
The 50-year-old Texas Rangers pitching coach, spent four hours on Tuesday and the entire morning on Wednesday interviewing with Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Jason McLeod and Randy Bush, might be the only candidate for the Cubs job who could turn down the opportunity to manage the historic team if given the chance.

Maddux cited family responsibility as the No. 1 priority that might keep him in Texas.

"We have a lot of things to think about and a lot of things to weigh," Maddux said. "Family is very important. I played for a long time and when I finished playing my kids were 10 years old and 8 years old. I said what happened? So I got into coaching right away, and we moved the family to Wisconsin. At least we were together.

"Then I went to Texas. For the first two years my wife and youngest daughter stayed in Wisconsin. My oldest daughter was with me in college in Texas. As of June my family resides together. That had not happened in three years, and that's pretty special. There does come a time when you have to stop and smell the roses. There are a lot of tough decisions that would have to be made."

After that Maddux didn't sound like a man who had his mind made up on taking one of baseball's most prestigious jobs. He impressed the media with his savvy answers and quick one-liners that had the small audience rolling with laughter.

Asked how he would handle troubled pitcher Carlos Zambrano: "How would I handle him? I don't know. The first thing I would do is get to meet him. I heard he's a big teddy bear. I might just pick him up and burp him. I saw Carlos Zambrano from across the field seven or eight years ago ... he was the best thing since sliced bread. He beat you on the mound, he beat you at the plate, he beat you on the field. He could even steal bases. He was the total package. He's a great competitor, was the best pitcher in the National League."

Having brother Greg Maddux join him is a longshot at best due to Greg Maddux's concern with his own family matters, according to a source.

Maddux said he enjoyed the interview process with Epstein and Co. Asked his impression of Epstein: "I can't do an impression of him. But they are young. I guess they're bright folks like what I deal with in my current position [with 34-year-old GM Jon Daniels]. The new age GM front office guys are highly educated, very motivated but very true and very honest. And that's about all you can really ask from people. That they are honest and share your passion."