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Former Sox skipper sitting season out - Metro US

Former Sox skipper sitting season out

That’s one less familiar face to worry about.

Terry Francona has reportedly taken his name out of the running for the vacant manager’s seat in the Chicago Cubs’ dugout. In fact, the former Red Sox skipper told CSNNE.com that he doesn’t plan to manage anywhere in 2012.

“I need to take a step back and re-energize,” Francona told the website. “That’s probably in my best interest right now. In fairness to myself, it’s the best thing to do.”

Last week, Francona interviewed with the St. Louis Cardinals, but they ultimately hired Mike Matheny. Francona was being touted as a good fit for the Cubs due to his ties with Cubs president — and former Sox GM — Theo Epstein.

“We both know each other well enough where we can be honest with each other,” Francona said. “I don’t think it’s the right opportunity.”

Francona, who took a lot of blame for Boston’s epic September meltdown, has been in talks with FOX, ESPN and MLB Network to do some broadcast work next season.

“It may be a way to stay in the game, enjoy it and also be able to step back and look at things,” he said.

No. 1 fan

Francona gave a ringing endorsement for Dale Sveum, who is a finalist for the Sox’s vacant manager’s job. Sveum was on Francona’s staff when the Sox won the Series in 2004.

“Players love him and they should,” Francona told ESPN 1000 in Chicago. “I played with him actually in Milwaukee. He’s kind of a players’ player. He does things right. He’s solid.”

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