Caray's widow endorses Ryne Sandberg

CHICAGO -- As Harry Caray's statue was being re-dedicated in front of the Wrigley Field bleachers on Wednesday, his widow, Dutchie, gave her support to Ryne Sandberg to become manager of the Chicago Cubs.

"Ryne and Margaret [Sandberg's wife] are good friends of mine," said Caray, who was wearing a Cubs hat and No. 23 Sandberg jersey. "I love them. I think he's a great guy. He's come a long way, and he's paid his dues."

The Cubs' Hall of Fame second baseman is the manager for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs and will be one of the candidates for the Cubs' job in 2011. Cubs general manager Jim Hendry will interview Sandberg when Iowa's season ends.

While she won't actively lobby for Sandberg to get the job, she believes her late husband would support a Sandberg-for-manager campaign.

"He would be very happy I think," Caray said. "He really liked Ryno. Between him and Stan Musial, those were his two very, very favorite ballplayers. That's a lot to say for Ryne because I don't think Stan is able to do any managing today [Musial is 90]."

Former Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez and Washington Nationals coach Pat Listach will also get formal interviews. Former Cleveland Indians manager Eric Wedge has had the only formal interview so far.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi would most likely be on the Cubs' list for an interview if he becomes available after the Yankees' season ends. Girardi's contract expires after this season.

Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts told a group of reporters after the Caray ceremony that he would let Hendry handle the hiring process.

Asked about the Cubs situation, Ricketts told reporters, "We don't think we need a marquee manager to sell tickets. We need a team that produces on the field."

Bruce Levine covers baseball for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.