Larry Lucchino: No front-runners

Boston Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino said Friday morning that the team plans to start interviewing managerial candidates next week and estimated there were eight to 10 people on its "evolving" list of finalists.

"I wouldn't read too much into who comes in first (to interview)," Lucchino said on Boston sports radio station WEEI. "We're at eight or 10 names and we just want to get the interview process beginning."

The team has not publicly named any candidates, but among those expected to get consideration are Red Sox bench coach DeMarlo Hale, Cleveland Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr., Philadelphia Phillies Triple-A manager Ryne Sandberg, Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Dave Martinez and Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin.

"There's been plenty of due diligence that's been going on the last several days," Lucchino said. "Ben (Cherington) has gotten recommendations. People have thrown their hats in the ring. I have heard from baseball people I know with their recommendations."

Lucchino didn't put a timetable on hiring Terry Francona's replacement.

"It's going to take a few weeks, certainly," Lucchino said. "We hired Terry Francona I think on Dec. 2 of (2003) and we didn't lose anything in the 2004 season. I think we feel like there is some time on that."

Lucchino said there are currently no front-runners.

"There haven't been a lot of internal discussions ranking these people yet," Lucchino said.

Blue Jays first base coach Torey Lovullo, who formerly managed at Triple-A Pawtucket, and White Sox Triple-A manager Joe McEwing -- two outside-the-box choices popular in media prognostications -- currently are not on the list of people the Red Sox are interested in interviewing, according to a league source.