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Beane Will Stay With A's

November 11, 2002|Ross Newhan | Times Staff Writer

TUCSON — Whether Billy Beane agreed to the parameters of a contract with the Boston Red Sox Sunday only to have second thoughts while the Red Sox were attempting to negotiate a compensation package satisfactory to the Oakland Athletics is uncertain. This much is clear:

The job as Boston's general manager was his if he wanted it, but Beane withdrew his name from consideration Sunday night, choosing to remain the architect of an Oakland team that has reached the playoffs for three consecutive years despite one of the lower payrolls in baseball and the consistent loss of key players.

The A's said Beane will explain his reasons for not following those players out of Oakland's small-market door in a news conference this morning.

However, an A's source said that Beane, with strong family considerations on the West Coast, did not want to make a decision based on money alone, that he has always regretted signing to play baseball rather than accepting an opportunity to attend Stanford, and he did not want to make another decision that he would regret.

Added club spokesman Jim Young: "As corny as it sounds, Billy simply had a gut check. He left an extremely attractive offer on the table because he simply feels this is where he belongs, where his heart is.

"He knows how frustrating and challenging it can be, but he thrives on that." Red Sox President Larry Lucchino wasn't happy but he said, "Billy withdrew for personal, family and geographic reasons, and we can respect that."

For now, at least, Beane will honor a contract that runs though 2008, while the Red Sox return to the drawing board and a list of candidates that includes interim General Manager Mike Port and assistant Lee Thomas, both representing the Red Sox at the annual GM meetings, which officially open here today.

While Lucchino also has interviewed Jim Duquette, a senior assistant general manager with the Mets; Ron Schueler, a former White Sox general manager; Leland Maddox, the Cincinnati personnel director; Mike Arbuckle, the Phillie assistant general manager, and Mike Flanagan, an Oriole advisor and broadcaster, he had never lost sight of Beane. However, repeated requests for permission to interview the Beane were rejected by owner Steve Schott until Schott relented Thursday night to Beane's series of requests to hear what the Red Sox had to say.

A whirlwind weekend, baseball sources insist, culminated Sunday in Beane agreeing to a multiyear, multimillion-dollar contract with Boston, only to experience what one source described as "something akin to buyer's remorse" as he reflected on all the lives that would be affected. Those lives included that of his wife, Tara, a Northern Californian who was reluctant to move, a source said, and that of his 14-year-old daughter Casey, who lives with his first wife in Southern California and who was the principal reason, Beane said at the time, that he agreed to the West Coast security of a three-year extension with the A's in March.

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