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Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Source: Cubs zeroing on a manager hire

By Bruce Levine

MILWAUKEE -- The Chicago Cubs are zeroing in on the hiring of their next manager, a major league source told ESPNChicago.com Wednesday.

Cubs executives Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer met with Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum on Tuesday night in Milwaukee. It’s unclear if chairman Tom Ricketts attended the meeting – the team had said previously Ricketts would meet with the choice candidate before a hire was made.

The Boston Red Sox also met with Sveum on Wednesday afternoon

Sveum told Comcast SportsNet New England that he has not received an offer from either team.

"Nothing has been discussed beyond the interview process,” he told CSN. “It's kind of a stalemate now. The process is finished; it's just the decision-making process now. We'll wait and see."

The Cubs made follow-up phone calls to all the candidates they interviewed on Wednesday – including Pete Mackanin, Sandy Alomar Jr., Mike Maddux and DeMarlo Hale.

In spite of perception, Sveum may not be the team’s top candidate. Hoyer made a point of saying the reason the team met in person with Sveum was that he was in town to interview for the Boston job.

Former Red Sox manager Terry Fancona removed his name from consideration Wednesday after talking to Epstein.

The Cubs may pull the trigger on naming their next manager before the Red Sox. Boston GM Ben Cherington is on record as saying he is going to the Dominican Republic on Friday to scout free agent Yoennis Cespedes. He won’t be returning to the country until early next week.