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Monday, November 14, 2011
Cubs talked to DeMarlo Hale about job

By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com

MILWAUKEE -- Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein dropped a new name into the conversation about candidates for the Cubs manager job on Monday night.

Epstein, who already interviewed four people during an eight-day span, said that Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer has talked on the phone with Boston Red Sox bench coach DeMarlo Hale about the job. Similar to his stance on former Boston manager Terry Francona, Epstein doesn't feel the need to formally interview Hale.

"We know each other so well that we don't really need to go through the process," Epstein said. "Jed actually interviewed him, because he hasn't been with him for a couple of years. I know him really well. DeMarlo is a great coach and grew up in Chicago and it was worthwhile hearing from him."

Epstein wasn't sure he'd need to bring back any of the four candidates he spoke to in Chicago -- Philadelphia Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin, Milwaukee Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum, Texas Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux or Cleveland Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. -- for a second interview.

"Right now, we've completed our interviews," Epstein said. "So we have kind of stepped back and now move into the evaluation and decision phase."

Francona also still remains a viable possibility for the Cubs job and Epstein said, "It's the same. We continue to talk."

Epstein said he was not worried about a timetable for the decision, but only about making the right choice.

"[Just] getting it right," Epstein said. "There's no real deadline, but this is an important week. I'd like to think we can move into the decision-making phase this week."

Although he doesn't anticipate any more formal interviews, Epstein said there would be some follow up with the candidates, particularly when one is under serious consideration.

"I think the Ricketts would meet with one candidate and the four of us would sit down and talk," Epstein said, referring to Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, Epstein, Hoyer and the candidate.

As for the compensation issue that still hangs over the Cubs and Red Sox due to Epstein leaving Boston, Epstein was hopeful that something could get done at these meetings.

"I'd like to think that we can make some progress since we will be under the same roof," Epstein said. "We'll see how it goes."

Major League Baseball has told both sides that they still have some latitude left to get it finalized. However, at some point soon, commissioner Bud Selig may impose himself on the situation.

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