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Monday, November 11
Beane had Red Sox deal, but decides to stay with A's news services

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane withdrew from consideration for the same job with the Boston Red Sox on Sunday night, ending a whirlwind weekend in which he was widely expected to leave.

Sunday, Nov. 10
TUCSON, Ariz. -- In the end, Billy Beane just couldn't do it.

He looked back on what he'd agreed upon 12-to-14 hours earlier, a deal with the Red Sox that would have made him far and away the highest-paid general manager in baseball, that would have allowed him to spend as much of the year as he wanted close to his daughter in Newport Beach, Calif., that would have given him the resources to build a team that could last years.

But within hours of the agreement came the remorse. "I kept thinking about how the decision may impact so many people," Beane said. "This was great for me in terms of more money than I ever could have dreamed of, being with perhaps the best franchise in the game and working for a man in (Red Sox president) John Henry who is one of the finest people I've ever met, but it struck me that it isn't just about me.

"The most important thing for me is my wife Tara and my daughter Casey, and to put what I need to put into that franchise -- and what they should expect -- might impact my marriage and my family. And I can't let that happen. The Red Sox deserve more than my being in Newport Beach part time. I can't do anything halfway, and the Red Sox deserve more. Casey was great with my going to Boston, but she is 13, and here she's an hour away. For whatever happens, there's something to be said for that.

"I love Boston. It's a unique franchise, and that's where I told (Oakland owner) Steve Schott there was the one place I would leave to go to. But I love the A's. My fingerprint is everywhere here, and Steve has been so great in the process allowing me the opportunity to talk to Boston, I realize I'm fortunate here.

"I'm not about money. The only decision I ever made based on money was when I signed with the Mets in 1980 (as a No. 1 pick) rather than go to Stanford, and I've always realized since then decisions based on money aren't often right.

"I've learned a lot in this process. John Henry is as great an owner as there is, and I wish I could work with him. Theo Epstein (assistant Red Sox GM) is a pillar, and in all the time we've spent together in this process, I'm convinced he should take the job and find good people around him."

That might happen. If Sandy Alderson is not available, the only person who fits the Henry/Larry Lucchino criteria may be Epstein, who could be surrounded by strong, sage heads. But that comes another day.

"I owe it to the fans in New England who made this job so attractive to explain everything," said Beane, who is willing to fly from Oakland to Tucson to meet with whatever Boston media are covering the GM meetings.

A little more than 15 hours after agreeing to a potential deal with the Red Sox that would have made him the hightest-paid general manager in the game pending compensation, Beane told the Red Sox that he could not leave Oakland.

"For what the Red Sox deserve, I cannot give it to them," Beane told ESPN's Peter Gammons on Sunday night. "John Henry and the Red Sox were great to me. They were willing to pay me more money than I could believe. But it's more than money, I've never been about money. I made one decision based on money in my life -- when I signed with the Mets rather than go to Stanford -- and I promised I'd never do it again."

Beane had been assured by the Red Sox that he could spend part of the season in Newport Beach, Calif., close to his 13-year-old daughter Casey, Gammons reported.

"For 24 hours, to think I took the choice not to have Hudson, Mulder and Zito, that's a fool," Beane said Monday at a news conference. "I was never really gone, but I'm so glad I'm back."

Earlier Sunday, a baseball source had told The Associated Press a potential deal was all but done (pending Beane's acceptance, of course), saying Beane had agreed to the financial terms of an agreement to become the GM provided the teams could settle on compensation.

''He left a very attractive offer on the table,'' A's spokesman Jim Young said. ''He felt he belonged in Oakland and obviously we couldn't be happier.''

Beane received a three-year contract extension with the A's through 2008 earlier this year, and the Athletics would have expected extensive compensation for releasing him from the deal.

Earlier in the offseason, the AL West champion Athletics let manager Art Howe move to the New York Mets without compensation.

Howe was replaced by former bench coach Ken Macha.

''He's a very hot commodity and very well respected,'' Macha said Sunday night from his Pittsburgh-area home. ''He does a great job as general manager and I think as long as he's at peace with what he's doing, it's good for the Oakland A's.

''The things he's done out in Oakland have drawn attention to him. He deserves a lot of the credit for everything that happens there. I look forward to working with him.''

The opportunity to move from the team with the sixth-lowest payroll last year to baseball's second-biggest spender was obviously attractive to Beane. The Red Sox also have a rabid fan base and a rich tradition, while the Athletics' poor crowds in the playoffs last month caused Beane to wonder whether Bay area fans were "spoiled.''

Earlier in the day Sunday, Beane spoke with Gammons about the possibility of joining the Red Sox. Beane told Gammons that while he had agreed in principle to terms with the team, he and his family were still deciding whether or not to make the move. They apparently decided against it.

After the season, owner Steve Schott said it would take an awful lot for him to give up Beane. He originally denied the Red Sox permission to speak to the 40-year-old Beane. But Beane convinced Schott to let him hear out the wealthy Red Sox, whose contract offer would have made him the highest-paid GM in the league and several times what Beane could hope to make in Oakland.

Earlier this weekend, an Oakland team source told the San Francisco Chronicle that top A's officials believed Beane's departure to be "a foregone conclusion."

"We consider him to have moved on," the source told the newspaper.

Beane was identified as one of the top candidates for the job ever since Dan Duquette was fired in spring training and replaced by interim GM Mike Port. Once the season was over and Boston's search for a permanent replacement began, the team asked to speak to Beane but the A's never formally responded to the request.

Officials from both teams confirmed Saturday that the Red Sox had been given permission to speak with Beane after being put off on that request for weeks.

The A's have won 100 or more games for two straight seasons and made the playoffs the last three years, losing in the first round each time.

In 2002, Oakland won 103 games and the AL West but lost to Minnesota in the first round of the AL playoffs. The A's also had an AL-record 20-game winning streak.

For what the Red Sox deserve, I cannot give it to them. John Henry and the Red Sox were great to me. They were willing to pay me more money than I could believe. But it's more than money, I've never been about money.
Billy Beane

Other candidates for the Red Sox job include Port, Orioles adviser Mike Flanagan, Philadelphia assistant GM Mike Arbuckle, New York Mets assistant GM Jim Duquette, Cincinnati director of player personnel Leland Maddox, former Chicago White Sox general manager Ron Schueler, and Port's special assistant, Lee Thomas. Duquette is Dan Duquette's cousin.

Beane joined the A's front office in 1990 as an advance scout. He became an assistant general manager under Sandy Alderson in 1993.

Beane played six years in the majors with the Mets, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers and A's. He was a reserve on the 1989 World Series champion A's team, his final season as a player.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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