Frank Lucchesi, who last managed a decade ago, was named interim manager of the Chicago Cubs yesterday, replacing Gene Michael, who resigned after almost 1 1/2 years.
General Manager Dallas Green announced Lucchesi's appointment and said, "Frank understands that it is for 25 games and no longer."
Green said the move will "give us time to gather our thoughts and give us time regarding the managerial decision. We'd like to make the decision in October or November, hopefully before the winter meetings. But we won't make a decision until we're completely satisfied."
Third base coach John Vukovich has been considered a prime candidate for the job from which Michael figured to be fired at the end of the season. "It would be unfair to put someone like Vuke under the gun for the final 25 games," Green said. "The pressure woud be terrific."
Vukovich said Green called him Monday night after he had learned of Michael's resignation. "He explained it to me, and I understand completely," said Vukovich. "Certainly I want the job, who wouldn't?"
Lucchesi said he is not a candidate for the regular job. He has been a part-time coach with the Cubs this season, their "eye-in-the-sky" press box observer reporting to the bench by phone on how to position players in certain situations.
Lucchesi, 59, managed the Philadelphia Phillies during 1970-72. He replaced Billy Martin as manager of the Texas Rangers from 1975 until he was fired in 1977. His managerial record in the major leagues was 341-429.
Green said he would consider a list of candidates and the naming of a black manager "is a possibility. Billy Williams would be a good candidate."
Williams, a former star and a current coach with the team, was slated earlier in the season to begin managing in the Arizona Instructional League. He leaves the team Sunday for those duties.
"I'll evaluate my situation after the instructional league," Williams said. "But I'll abide by whatever the Cubs decide."
Michael, a former manager of the New York Yankees, replaced Jim Frey on June 13, 1986. The Cubs were 46-56 under Michael last season and 68-68 this year.
The relationship between Green and Michael was strained at times. It fell apart when on July 12 Green traded pitcher Steve Trout to the New York Yankees without consulting Michael.