Jim Hendry to begin manager search

CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs general manager Jim Hendry returned to Chicago on Friday after watching his Class A team in Daytona, Fla.

Hendry will begin his managerial search this month by talking to potential candidates.

"It's obviously proven to be a very tough job here," Hendry said.

The Cubs plan an extensive search process with the possibility of interviewing more than 15 candidates. Hendry said he is open to advice from people he respects.

"My entire life, I've always sought advice from people who have been very successful and have done something at a high level," Hendry said. "That's why I have the relationship I have with Bill Polian [Indianapolis Colts vice president and general manager] and Tony Dungy [former Super Bowl champion coach] and people like that. Not only are they good friends of mine, but they breed success."

Hendry said he learned a lot from conversations he had with Braves general manager John Schuerholz after Hendry became the Cubs general manager in 2002. He also said he got to know Braves manager Bobby Cox through Schuerholz.

"That's what makes the world go 'round," Hendry said. "If you don't take advantage of peoples' knowledge like that, then you're being shortsighted."

Hendry's advisers, including Greg Maddux, will be consulted in his process to hire Lou Piniella's replacement.

"There's not a player we have that didn't have a conversation with Greg Maddux in spring training to try to get some help," Hendry said. "That's what people do. The day you start thinking you know it all is the day you might as well go home."

According to major league sources, Cubs Triple-A manager Ryne Sandberg, Washington third base coach Pat Listach, former Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez and Yankees manager Joe Girardi, if he becomes a free agent, are all sure to get interviews for the Cub job.

Cub broadcaster Bob Brenly more than likely will get an interview if he's interested in the job. Others being mentioned as possible candidates are ESPN analyst Bobby Valentine and San Diego Padres bench coach Ted Simmons. Maddux, for his part, already has told the Cubs he's not interested in any other job other than what he's doing right now, advising Hendry, which eliminates him from the process.

"I've already spent some time in Arizona talking to Greg," Hendry said. "We are going to do a very thorough job. We are going to get a lot of input, and we're going to have a lot of good candidates. Everyone knows this is a marquee job in the industry."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.