The Red Sox's epic collapse may have cost Boston more than just psychic pain and Terry Francona. The Chicago Cubs have asked permission from the Red Sox to interview GM Theo Epstein. Though some of his recent free-agent signings (paging John Lackey) have been expensive failures, Epstein is still widely regarded as one of baseball's best general managers. He'd have a brand-new challenge and a fresh start in Chicago, similar in some ways to the situation he inherited when he took over the Red Sox nearly a decade ago.

Francona or Theo?

Terry Francona is a rumored front-runner for the White Sox managerial position, while Epstein could be his crosstown rival a year from now.


Turnaround time?

The Cubs were nothing but promise in the past 10 years, with very little in the way of results to show for it. They finished near the bottom of the NL Central standings this season, a distressingly familiar position for Cubs fans.


Which job is more attractive?

The Red Sox have more resources, but they're locked in a constant three-way death struggle with the Yankees and Rays. The Cubs job offers an opportunity to make history, but the pressure must be immense.


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