St. Louis Today is reporting the St. Louis Cardinals begin their search for a new manager today, interviewing no more than nine candidates in search for Tony La Russa's replacement. Among the names including in their search are recently released Boston Red Sox Manager Terry Francona and former Chicago Cubs great Ryne Sandberg.
According to Today, the list includes, but is not limited to:
- Terry Francona -- Francona led the Red Sox for eight seasons, twice guiding them to World Series championships. His departure from Boston does not come without controversy, however, as he presided over the 2011 Red Sox, which saw it's 9.5 game lead collapse in the month of September amid allegations of lackadaisical and apathetic behavior from players in the dugout and locker room.
- Ryne Sandberg -- The Hall of Fame second baseman played an impressive 15 seasons with the Cardinals' rival Cubs, and has been managing in the minor leagues since 2007. The Cardinals recently received permission from the Philadelphia Phillies -- for whom he presently works -- to interview Sandberg. Ryno built a reputation as being good with young players, but some have worried he may rub veterans the wrong way.
- José Oquendo -- Former middle infielder for the St. Louis Cardinals, Oquendo has served as the Cards' third base for over a decade and is no stranger to manager interviews. He has some minor league managerial experience and also served as Puerto Rico's manager twice in the World Baseball Classic.
- Chris Maloney -- A minor league manager for 20 years, Maloney most recently served as manager for the Memphis Redbirds, the Cards' Triple-A affiliate.
- Mike Matheny -- The former four-time gold glove catcher Mike Matheny has previously served as a special adviser to the Cardinals, but does not have managerial experience.
- Joe McEwing -- McEwing, currently the third base coach for the Chicago White Sox, played nine season in the majors as a utility player, first breaking into the majors with the St. Louis Cardinals who drafted him. He has been coaching and managing in the minors for three seasons.
Interestingly, the Cardinals have elected to not pursue either manager Joe Maddon or bench coach Dave Martinez, two managerial candidates with the Tampa Bay Rays considered top choices by the media.
For more on the Cardinals, check out Viva El Birdos, SB Nation's St. Louis Cardinals blog.