Former Boston Red Sox manager
Terry Francona spent Tuesday interviewing for the vacant managerial job of the
reigning World Series champion Cardinals.
Francona interviewed with
Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. in Cincinnati, where DeWitt lives and runs a
private equity firm, Reynolds DeWitt & Co., as well as several other
individuals including Cardinals general manager John
"We just had a dialogue,"
Francona told reporters before flying back to Boston. "I enjoy talking about baseball -- a
lot. Without going into details, we discussed pretty basic philosophy. I'd call
it an enjoyable, casual conversation."
Even though Boston suffered one of the
worst September collapses in Major League history, Francona remains a hot
property, with interest shown in him by several teams including the Cardinals
and Chicago Cubs. He has the experience and maturity that DeWitt covets, not to
mention much of the same fieriness that endeared Tony LaRussa to Cardinal
faithful for the last 17 years before retiring on top two weeks ago after the
Cards won the World Series.
Francona said he was
given neither any guarantees nor a timeline on when the Cards fill the job. They
also have one other major job still to complete, as well: attempting to re-sign
slugger Albert Pujols, who is a free agent.
Francona was the fourth
candidate to interview the job, following Mike Matheny, Chris Maloney and Joe McEwing. Two others Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg and Jose Oquendo, interviewed
Wednesday. The Cardinals hope to have a manager hired before next week's general
manager's meetings in Milwaukee.
"I was just excited to go
back in there and talk to them," Francona said of his interview. "Whatever
happens, happens. I'm not going anywhere."
Francona has spent 12
years as a big league manager, first for the Philadelphia Phillies from
1997-2000 and from 2004-2011 with the Red Sox, for whom he helped win two World
Series (2004, 2007).
Bob Forsch, the former
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher who threw two no-hitters and just recently threw out
the first pitch of Game 7 of the World Series, died Thursday
Forsch, 61, collapsed at
his home in Tampa,
Fla, after suffering a heart
aneurysm, his wife, Jan, told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
He was the
third-winningest pitcher in Cardinals history with 163 victories in 15 seasons.
Forsch was the only pitcher in the team's history to throw two no-hitters,
tossing one in 1978 against the Philadelphia Phillies and another in 1983
against the Montreal Expos.
He pitched for three
World Series teams during the Cardinals' run under manager Whitey Herzog in the
1980s—1982, '85 and '87.
Forsch went 20-7 with a
3.48 ERA in 1977, his only 20-win season. He won at least 10 games 11
He worked the last few
seasons for the Cincinnati Reds as a minor-league pitching
SS Rafael Furcal's and
RHP Octavio Dotel's contract options were declined, but the Cardinals maintain
interest in re-signing both. Furcal stabilized the infield defense although his
on-base percentage as a leadoff man was poor. Dotel pitched well in all manner
of relief roles.
RHP Edwin Jackson is a
free agent, and the Cardinals probably won't be able to offer him a long-term
contract with five starters already under contract in RHPs Adam Wainwright,
Chris Carpenter, Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook and LHP Jaime Garcia.
C Yadier Molina won a
fourth straight Rawlings Gold Glove for defensive excellence, breaking a tie for
the most among Cardinals catchers. Mike Matheny, Molina's mentor, had three in
the previous decade, as did Tom Pagnozzi in the 1990s.
2B Skip Schumaker and RHP
Kyle McClellan both are arbitration-eligible and might not be back. McClellan,
especially, might fall through the cracks with the rotation set and a
preponderance of younger right-handed relievers on the
RHP Jason Motte, after
seven other pitchers had recorded saves, finally nailed down the closer's role,
knocking off nine saves from Aug. 28 on. In the meantime, Motte set the club
record for appearances by a right-hander with 78.
BY THE NUMBERS: 34-16 -
Cardinals' record from Aug. 25 to end the of the World Series.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's time
to end it."
- Manager Tony La Russa, on
retiring after 16 seasons as Cardinals manager.
The Cardinals are coming off a
World Series title, but general manager John Mozeliak realizes the big
turnaround in the season came in late July and early August when the club
changed 20 percent of its roster with five additions. There will be no standing
pat, and that trend began three days after the World Series ended when manager
Tony La Russa retired after 16 seasons.
The top priority, after naming a
manager, is re-signing 1B Albert Pujols, the cream of the free agent class.
Secondarily, the Cardinals need to address their shortstop-second base
situation, which finished with Rafael Furcal, whose option was not picked up, at
short and Skip Schumaker, who is arbitration-eligible, at second. Mozeliak has
indicated interest in Furcal but at a much lower figure than $12 million.
Schumaker, a converted outfielder, has improved at second base, but the
Cardinals might not want to pay to keep both.
1B Albert Pujols, RHPs
Edwin Jackson and Octavio Dotel, C Gerald Laird, SS Rafael Furcal, OF Corey Patterson, INF Nick Punto, LHP Arthur Rhodes.
Every effort will be made
to re-sign Pujols. Furcal and Dotel command interest by the Cardinals, but they
won't be able to give Jackson a long-term deal. Rhodes is next most likely to be sought after by the
Cardinals, but there won't be much money for him.
2B/OF Skip Schumaker, RHP
Kyle McClellan. INF Ryan Theriot.
All, in theory, could be
non-tendered. McClellan is the most likely to dealt. Either Schumaker or Theriot
won't be back, and possibly both.
RHP Kyle McClellan, who moved back
to the bullpen when Jackson was acquired, is in competition with
several young right-handed relievers who are less expensive. He wouldn't go back
to the rotation, either, with the expected return of RHP Adam Wainwright, who
missed 2011 with Tommy John elbow surgery. INF Tyler Greene, who had a strong
Class AAA performance and who was going to get a late season look until the
Cardinals got back into playoff contention, could be a trade candidate if the
club doesn't figure to have a role for him. In limited duty with the Cardinals,
Greene led the club in steals with 11 (in 11 attempts).
RHP Adam Wainwright is
expected to go to Jupiter, Fla., just after Jan. 1 to begin throwing in
earnest. He expects to be ready for spring training.
LF Matt Holliday might
need his right hand, injured twice late in the season, attended