Originally posted on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 11/4/11

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In reality, Epstein did a lot more before agreeing to a five-year contract to run the Cubs’ baseball operations and being thrust into a state of limbo because of protracted compensation talks that remain unresolved. He even helped his protege and successor, Ben Cherington, compile the Red Sox’ list of potential replacements for manager Terry Francona.

Now, 10 days after finally turning in his office key and fleeing to Wrigley Field, Epstein is leading the Cubs’ managerial search. And, lo and behold, he’s starting with the same candidates that have sparked the Red Sox’ interest.

Last night, Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer had a dinner meeting with Mackanin, a Chicago native who went through an exhaustive interview Monday with Cherington. Yesterday, the Rangers gave permission for both the Red Sox and Cubs to interview Maddux next week.

The Red Sox have set up an interview next week with Cleveland Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr., whom Epstein also is eyeing. And Epstein expects to talk to Sveum, who met with Cherington on Wednesday.

Herald - Ben Cherington, Theo Epstein go to bat again

There's really two ways to look at this situation:

#1 - There's something to all that 'Ben Cherington IS Theo Epstein' talk.  If they share the same philosophies about building a baseball team (and it's apparent that they do), there's going to be a whole lot of overlap in their tenures.  Whether it's the types of players they covet, how they approach free agency (I'll take one of everything), and of course, the type of manager they want to lead their squads.

#2 - There's not an infinite number of managerial candidates out there.  Especially not ones suited to manage in a large market like Chicago or Boston.  If you can't pluck an established manager away, you need to go after the next level of talent.  Your pool of potential managers is only so big.

And, obviously when Theo was helping Cherington make the list of candidates for Boston, he was doing his own due diligence for the soon-to-be-vacant opening in Chicago.  It's a fun storyline to see these two going after the same candidates, but there's really not much to it.

Where it could get interesting is if both Theo and Ben decide on the same guy.  Is he going to pick the Red Sox, who are loaded but a Cluster F, or the awful but lovable Cubbies?  Wake me up when we get to that point.

On Page 2, Papi's still waiting

David Ortiz told WEEI.com on Thursday that he was surprised the Red Sox allowed him to become a free agent, and that they've yet to make an offer to the veteran designated hitter.

"I was expecting something would happen before (the exclusive negotiating period ran out), but so many things are going on," said Ortiz. "I know everybody has priorities, and to be honest with you, I thought I was one of them."

General manager Ben Cherington said earlier in the week that he has been in talks with Ortiz's representatives, but did not expect to close a deal with Ortiz before the end of the exclusive negotiating period.

"I think we expected that 12:01 would probably arrive without them (Ortiz and Jonathan Papelbon) being signed here," said Cherington. "I don’t know that it changes much. We’ll continue the dialogue and plan to talk to David again soon. Talked to Pap’s agent once earlier in the week, probably again tomorrow or the next day. Just keep in touch. I wouldn’t expect any closure on any of those guys any time soon."

CSNNE - Ortiz: No offer yet from Sox

The Sox organization is a whirlwind right now, so it's hard to read too much into anything.  But this isn't looking good for Ortiz coming back.

Cherington admits that he didn't expect to sign them before hitting free agency.  And since Papi and Paps are already free agents, there's no reason for them not to explore what else is out there. And if Ortiz doesn't feel like he's getting the love and respect the Sox owe him, well, who knows where his head is at.

C'mon Ben!  Just sit down and sign him already!

Also, my sincerest apologies for that terrible title.

Rest of the links:

CSNNE - Sox, Cubs: Opposites that shouldn't attract same candidates | Herald - Larry Lucchino says search for Sox manager in 4th inning | Pete Mackanin first up in Cubs’ managerial search | Globe - Maddux will make his pitch to Red Sox | Ask Nick: What will Sox do in offseason? | WEEI - Jonathan Papelbon is officially a free agent ... so what now? | Theo: Not sure Tito a fit with Cubs |

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