Joe Girardi lobbies for Cubs manager job; Will Venable’s interest is ‘the organization in general’

The search to replace Joe Maddon has a presumptive favorite (David Ross) but figures to have a few interesting turns and voices involved before it concludes.

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League Championship Series - New York Yankees v Houston Astros - Game Seven

Joe Girardi in his last game as Yankees manager, in Game 7 of the 2017 American League Championship Series against the Astros.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

David Ross is in. Joe Girardi wants in. Mark Loretta is on deck. And the Cubs might have to wait until one or more of the teams still playing are eliminated from the postseason to talk to remaining candidates on their list of possible replacements for fired manager Joe Maddon.

Team president Theo Epstein, who’s scheduled to interview Cubs bench coach Loretta on Thursday, indeed appears to be “full speed ahead” in his search.

Epstein earlier in the week would not comment when asked about the possible candidacy of ex-Cubs catcher Girardi, a former manager of the year with the Marlins and World Series-champion skipper with the Yankees.

That didn’t stop Girardi from taking to the airwaves Wednesday morning on 670-AM to make his interest in the job — and other openings — clear.

“There’s 30 jobs, and obviously there’s 10 teams in the playoffs, so those jobs probably aren’t open,” Girardi said. “You start to look at the other jobs available, and obviously I have a lot of ties to Chicago. Any job out there is going to interest me because I would like to manage again.”

He would not say whether he has talked to any teams about interviews.

Girardi, 54, is widely respected in the game and twice was considered for the Cubs job, most recently spurning the team in the fall of 2013 as the Yankees responded with a four-year extension. The Cubs hired Rick Renteria instead.

Girardi has many of the traits Epstein outlined as desirable in his next manager. But some rival executives believe his strong personality has the potential to clash and might not be as strong a fit as a Ross or a Loretta — especially if Epstein believes, as it seems he does, that they also have many of the traits he seeks.

Ross, the presumptive favorite, is working as an analyst for ESPN during the postseason as the process plays out. He made his interest clear Sunday during a “Baseball Tonight” broadcast.

Meanwhile, the candidacy of first-base coach Will Venable, handpicked to join the organization in 2017 after a nine-year playing career, might offer insight into the process.

Venable, who moved from a front-office position to Maddon’s coaching staff in 2018, wasn’t seeking the manager’s job, per se, when asked Tuesday during his coach’s exit meeting to interview for the job.

“My interest is really in the organization in general,” said Venable, who expects to interview early next week. “I’m just trying to do what I can to be part of the solution that’s going to get this organization back on track.”

Regardless of where the process leads the club, Venable gets at least the benefit of a first career managerial interview, and the club engages in deeper conversations about the job and the club’s issues with one of the organization’s younger and valued voices.

“I know the interview process is important to help them figure out what’s best for the team,” Venable, 36, said. “Regardless of what role I’m in, this is an opportunity to talk about how we can move this organization forward.

‘‘That’s my goal, to help the Cubs win. Whatever seat I’m sitting in is great, but right now it’s about figuring out what we can do better.”

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