Former Boston Red Sox skipper Terry Francona didn't completely rule out managing again in 2012, but he did pull himself out of the running for the Chicago Cubs job and said he would take a step back after not getting the St. Louis Cardinals position.
"I don't know that I can confirm that (report that he won't manage in 2012)," Francona said Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "I talked to (CSNNE.com) this morning and what I told him was that I did interview in St. Louis. I really did want to. It was a genuine interest on my part. And then when I didn't get the job I thought it was necessary to step back and (say), 'OK, what do I need to do?'
"I think that is, take a step back, take a deep breath, figure out what I do want to do, so when there is a next time -- and I hope there is -- I'll be refreshed and energized so you can do the job that's necessary. It's a tough job. At the end of every year, you're beat up. And at the end of this year, we were all beat up. To do the job right, you have to be all in, and that's how I feel right now."
Francona was passed over by St. Louis in favor of Mike Matheny and was under consideration to be the Cubs' new manager. Francona said he had spoken with Theo Epstein, his former boss in Boston who's now the Cubs' president of baseball operations, but said he didn't think the Cubs' situation was right for him.
"Me and Theo have talked so much the past month," Francona said. "I think he knows how I feel, and I know how he feels. Sometimes I just think as close as we are, and we'll always be close, I'm not sure I was the right person for that job right now. You have to be all in, and it has to be the right fit and has to be the right fit for them, too. Because of our relationship, they were easy conversations.
"To do the job correctly you have to be ready to do it all day, every day. I was genuinely excited about the St. Louis job, and when it didn't happen, it allowed me to step back and rethink and, 'OK, what do I need to do now?' It's not anything like ... the Cubs job is one of the premier jobs out there. With Theo and (GM Jed Hoyer) there, they're going to win. May not be tomorrow, but they're going to win."
A major league source told ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine that the Cubs have made follow-up calls with DeMarlo Hale, Mike Maddux, Sandy Alomar Jr. and Pete Mackanin. The Cubs met with Dale Sveum on Tuesday night, according to ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes.
Francona walked away from the Red Sox after overseeing the biggest September collapse in baseball history. He said his voice was no longer effective in what turned out to be a clubhouse in disarray, a notion Boston's management agreed with.
Francona told CSNNE.com he has been contacted by Fox, ESPN and the MLB Network about potential jobs in broadcasting and he is considering those opportunities.
"I'm going to explore some things in broadcasting and see where it leads,'' he said. "It may be a way to stay in the game, enjoy it and also be able to step back and look at things.''