"I think I felt a real comfort with him on a personal level," Cherington said. "We like his experience, a broad base of experience from playing and the type of player he was, the type of players and managers he was around as a player. He's been in Boston as a coach. [He's] had success in Boston as a coach. [He's] had success in Milwaukee as a coach. [He] has managed a little bit. [He] has managed in the Minor Leagues.
"As I mentioned last week, the next phase is getting ownership a little bit more involved. [We] wanted them to have a chance to get to know him better."
Cherington indicated that one more candidate will probably get a second interview, and that he would probably be the other finalist for the job along with Sveum. That could happen during these meetings in Milwaukee, or back in Boston later this week.
"We may have another one this week, but we're still working on it," Cherington said.
One other matter Cherington will work on during his time in Milwaukee is trying to finalize the compensation the Red Sox will get from the Cubs for allowing Theo Epstein to switch jobs. Epstein and Cherington will meet face to face over the next day or two.
If no resolution is reached by the end of the GM Meetings, Major League Baseball could take over and decide the compensation. Cherington didn't sound opposed to that idea.
"I haven't been told that, but my expectation all along is that at some point, if this doesn't get done, they're going to take it over," Cherington said. "That's probably best for all of us. It's not what we need to be doing this offseason. I think we'd still like to figure it out on our own, but if we can't, I think everyone probably needs to move on."
Adding more spice to Boston's pursuit of Sveum is that Chicago -- led by Epstein -- also interviewed him for its managerial vacancy.
Sveum served as third-base coach for the Red Sox from 2004-05, giving him a good taste of the type of pressure-cooker Boston can be. In fact, Sveum came under fire from fans and media for some runners being thrown out at the plate. Cherington made it clear last week that Sveum's performance as a third-base coach in Boston should have no bearing on his qualification to manage the club.
Sveum got a taste of managing with Milwaukee in 2008, when he replaced Ned Yost with just 12 games left in the season. Under Sveum, the Brewers got to the postseason and were eliminated by the Phillies in a four-game National League Division Series.
The Red Sox are high on Sveum for both his baseball acumen and his no-nonsense personality.
"My personality ... I don't let things fester," Sveum said at Fenway Park after his first interview. "If I see something that's disrespecting me or disrespecting the game or the teammates that I'm managing, I'll have a problem with that and I'll take care of it at that given time. What format that may be? I don't know, depending on the problem at hand at that time.
"But most of the time, you're just getting your players to respect you. Most times, when things get out of whack, you have to discipline people for the most part, just because something they did either disrespected myself, the organization, or the teammates that are playing every day -- their own teammates.
"If you let anything fester, then you start losing respect. ... You have to get players to respect you to play for you. If they don't respect you, you get a lot of issues that creep up. If they respect you, they're usually going to play for you and do things the right way professionally."
In the first round of interviews, the Red Sox also spoke with Pete Mackanin, Sandy Alomar Jr., Torey Lovullo and Gene Lamont.
Cherington's goal is to have a new manager in place by Thanksgiving.