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Beane stays in Oakland

By Janie McCauley The Associated Press
Tuesday November 12, 2002


OAKLAND — Billy Beane already had envisioned his first deal as Boston’s new general manager: Pedro Martinez to the Oakland Athletics. 

Yeah, right! 

The A’s general manager could joke about swapping the Boston ace Monday, after announcing he had changed his mind and decided to stay in Oakland rather than take over baseball operations of the Red Sox. 

Beane said he decided to stay for several reasons, including his love for the organization he has built into a perennial playoff team, and staying close to his daughter who lives in Southern California. 

Beane reportedly was offered about $2.5 million per year to take the Boston job — a position he considered attractive because of the franchise’s deep history and prestige. Beane currently makes about $400,000 annually with the A’s, and said he did not ask for a raise to stay put. He said he will fulfill his Oakland contract, which runs through 2008. 

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

He was referring to Oakland’s three aces — Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito — players Beane has watched develop into three of baseball’s best pitchers. 

“Boston is definitely a great team, but I think he realizes we still have a bright future,” Hudson said. “Both the front office and the players have something to be proud of, we have for a few years now, and that’s one of the reasons he wanted to stay around. These are the guys he’s seen come through the system and have success. 

“I think it was a good choice for him. He might not get the paycheck he would have, but I think he’ll be happy.” 

The 40-year-old Beane withdrew from consideration for the Boston job Sunday night, ending a whirlwind weekend in which he agreed to leave. 

Red Sox chief executive officer Larry Lucchino said he would proceed with a search in a timely manner. 

“We are disappointed, but not devastated,” Lucchino said. “We think Billy Beane would have been an outstanding GM here and we believe that he would have adjusted to the East Coast ways and culture and lifestyle. But we respect the judgment that he made for the reasons that he made it.” 

After high school, Beane signed with the New York Mets based solely on money, and later regretted it. That played into his decision this time. 

He spent most of the weekend at home in his pajamas trying to decide what to do. A deal with the Red Sox was all but done, provided the teams could settle on compensation. 

“I know he agonized over it a long time,” a relieved owner Steve Schott said. 

Beane is given much of the credit for building a team whose 103 wins tied for best in the major leagues this season, and for assembling the solid young pitching staff. 

“He would have had two of the best pitchers in Pedro and Derek Lowe,” Hudson said. “But with us three, we have as good a shot to win as anybody.” 

Beane, who also said he didn’t want to move far from his daughter, stood in the same room at the Coliseum in which two weeks ago he announced the hiring of bench coach Ken Macha to replace manager Art Howe. 

“Now we’re back here two weeks later to welcome Billy back,” Schott said.