No front-runner for Cubs job
CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, who returned from watching the Triple-A Iowa Cubs play in Albuquerque, said his talks with Iowa manager Ryne Sandberg did not constitute a formal interview for the Cubs managerial job and there is no front-running candidate.
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"Ryno needs to finish the season," Hendry said. "We're not in any rush to complete the interview process."
Sandberg was named Pacific Coast League manager or the year on Friday. A weekend series against Memphis will decide if the Iowa Cubs advance to the playoffs.
"It's more a normal dialogue and get-together after the game or for lunch," Hendry said of his talks with Sandberg. "It was no different than if I was going into Iowa in the middle of May."
Hendry was not interested in talking about who the favorites are for the job. A media report on Tuesday said former Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez was the leading candidate.
"You're going to read different speculation every day," Hendry said. "You'll hear about who the front-runners are and who was eliminated and who's not in it. It's all basically conjecture, because I haven't talked to anybody about any of it [as far as who is the leading candidates].
"As I said before, there's no leading candidate. There hasn't been, and there won't be until I take the final evaluation to [owner] Tom [Ricketts] and his family."
Former Cleveland manager Eric Wedge is the only known candidate to have had a formal interview with Hendry.
Sandberg will get his sometime after the Iowa season ends.
Gonzalez and Washington Nationals coach Pat Listach are also assured to get interviews, according to a source familiar with the situation.
Bruce Levine covers baseball for ESPNChicago.com.