Signs point to Sveum as Red Sox front-runner

Signs point to Sveum as Red Sox front-runner
November 16, 2011, 3:11 am
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MILWAUKEE -- The more Ben Cherington speaks, the more it appears Dale Sveum is the favorite to become the next manager of the Red Sox.

Sveum will meet with Cherington, owners Tom Werner and John Henry, and CEO Larry Lucchino Wednesday afternoon as part of his second interview with the organization.

Cherington said the Sox "expect there will be" a second interview for another candidate, but revealed the Sox have yet to settle on who that will be.

"We're still narrowing in on another finalist," said Cherington. "At least one another finalist. It's a combination of (identifying the second candidate) and the logistics (of setting up a meeting)."

The very fact that Sveum is being introduced to the owners before the team can settle on another finalist marks him as the front-runner for the position.

One complication could be a similar feeling by the Chicago Cubs toward Sveum. Sveum interviewed last week with Chicago. It's not known if he'll have a formal second interview with the Cubs when he's in town Wednesday, but it is known that Sveum is still in the running with the Cubs.

"It is a factor," acknowledged Cherington of the Cubs' parallel search, "because a lot of the candidates are similar. As I've said before, we're going to have a manager; the Cubs are going to have a manager. I'm not sure the same person is the right person for both jobs.

"We don't have the field to ourselves, so that's a factor and it effects timing more than anything. But I do think the jobs are different."

Henry, who arrived Tuesday night for the start of owners' meetings Wednesday, said he was eager to get to know Sveum better.

"I never really spent a lot of time with Dale (when he was the Red Sox' third-base coach in 2004-05)," said Henry, "so I'm looking forward to it."

Asked about a timetable for hiring a manager and the possibility of wrangling with the Cubs for their first choice, Henry said: "It's not so much about the timing. It's about getting the right man."