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Wedge to Mariners; Cubs still scoping out Girardi

The Cubs' pool of managerial candidates shrank by one Friday, but that doesn't mean the process will move any faster -- not until or unless Joe Girardi and his New York Yankees speed up their playoff run, which resumed Friday night in Texas with the ALCS opener.

With Cubs candidate Eric Wedge getting the Seattle Mariners job, according to multiple reports Friday night, only in-house candidates Mike Quade -- the presumptive favorite -- and Class AAA manager Ryne Sandberg remain among the finalists brought in for interviews with chairman Tom Ricketts.

The Cubs continue to look for indications from the Girardi camp that the Peoria native has interest in returning to the organization that originally drafted him as a catcher.

It's a process, cautioned one source, that could push a decision past the World Series.

Girardi has conspicuously left the door open to interest in the job he sought four years ago. He remains non-committal publicly -- and privately through back channels, insiders say.

A representative for Girardi said Friday that he is focused only on the Yankees' playoff effort and declined comment about the Cubs job.

Ricketts is said to be wary of being used as a negotiating tool for Girardi with the Yankees, but the Cubs don't want to close the door on a chance to talk to him if he makes himself available.

A source said Wedge interviewed impressively and was not a window-dressing candidate for the Cubs job. But one source close to Ricketts said Ricketts won't lose any sleep over Wedge going elsewhere.