CHICAGO -- San Diego Padres bench coach Ted Simmons hopes to be interviewed for the Cubs manager opening when the team begins the process of looking for a successor to Lou Piniella.
"Anybody in baseball in their right mind would have interest in managing here," Simmons said.
Simmons, a former star catcher, has vast experience as a farm director and was general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1992-93. He knows if hired he'd have to contend with the culture of the Cubs' fans thirst for a World Championship in the midst of a 102-year drought.
"Well, it's a very heavy burden," Simmons said. "I don't know if you want to call it 'The Goat', or a half a dozen other things you could call it. Actually, you can call it what you want to, but the people in Boston lived with it a long, long time [88 years]. Whether it's real or it's not doesn't matter, but that gorilla is sitting on anybody's back who comes in to manage in this ballpark. That person better have big shoulders, or else they're not going to last here long. These people expect a winner here, and you can't come to the north side of Chicago and manage the baseball team here and skate."
Simmons, according to major league sources, is in line to get an interview for the Florida Marlins job as well. That job was vacated when Fredi Gonzalez was fired earlier this summer. Gonzalez is thought to be a front-runner for the Atlanta Braves' job after the 2010 season when Bobby Cox retires.
Gonzalez, a close friend of Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, will also get an interview for the Cubs job, along with Washington coach Pat Listach, former Cleveland manager Eric Wedge and Cubs Triple-A manager Ryne Sandberg, according to major league sources.
The Cubs' search for a new manager could go all the way up to the team's organization meetings in November.
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.