Cubs to interview Joe Girardi, David Ross next week for managerial opening

Cubs first base coach Will Venable also is on next week’s schedule, while bench coach Mark Loretta interviewed Thursday.

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Former Cubs catcher Joe Girardi is among at least three candidates scheduled to interview next week for the Cubs’ managerial vacancy.

Whether that moves him to the front of the list of qualified candidates, he’s certainly the most experienced. He’s the only known candidate at this point with any big-league managing experience.

Girardi, a former Northwestern star, was the 2006 Manager of the Year with the Marlins who later managed the Yankees for 10 seasons, winning the 2009 World Series in his second season in New York.

“You start to look at the other job available, and obviously I have a lot of ties to Chicago,” Girardi said during an interview Wednesday on 670-AM. Any job out there is going to interest me, because I would like to manage again.”

Girardi also has been strongly linked to the Mets’ vacancy.

Another former Cubs catcher, David Ross, also is scheduled for an interview next week, the team said Friday. Ross has been presumed a favorite for the job since being considered for the bench coach role last year, about the same time team president Theo Epstein announced that Joe Maddon would enter the final year of his contract without an extension.

And Cubs first-base coach Will Venable, also is on next week’s schedule, the team said.

Bench coach Mark Loretta interviewed Thursday.

Epstein’s description Monday of traits he wants in a new manager suggested a different work structure and perhaps more discipline or edge in challenging players “to be the absolute best they can be.”

“Should the front office be the one sort of in charge of that type of motivation on a day-to-day basis, or even with some of the things that happened last offseason?” Epstein said, referring to meetings over the winter between players and execs. “I thought then and I think now, no, it should not.”

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