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Monday, November 11
Updated: November 14, 7:10 PM ET
Beane reportedly turns down $2.1 million raise news services

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Billy Beane already had envisioned his first deal as Boston's new general manager: Pedro Martinez to the Oakland Athletics.

Red Sox get back to search
BOSTON -- With permission to interview Billy Beane for their general manager's job and just a couple of days to close the deal, the Boston Red Sox turned on the recruiting charm, even arranging for Katie Couric to sing ''Happy Birthday'' to Beane's wife.

''We were told by Billy that Tara was a big Katie Couric fan,'' Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said Monday, a day after the Oakland A's GM backed out of a deal to take over in Boston. ''We knew that Tara's comfort was an important part of this process.''

Couric, the girlfriend of Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner, called and left a message on Tara Beane's answering machine. But neither the TV host's star power, nor the meal at the Florida home of billionaire John Henry, the Red Sox majority owner, nor an offer to let Beane set up a branch office in California could persuade him to move across country from his daughter.

''He always reminded us as we were moving along in the process that the issue of his wife and daughter -- he wanted to make sure she was comfortable with this, too,'' Lucchino said. ''But the way it's set up included the Red Sox playing in Boston. I think that was part of the problem.

''I really do harbor absolutely no ill will toward Billy. ... He's not going to be part of our team, but we're going to watch with great interest the success he has going forward.''

The Red Sox have been searching for a general manager since the group headed by Henry, Werner and Lucchino bought the team in spring training and fired Dan Duquette. Mike Port served as interim GM during the season, and he remains a candidate for the permanent job.

The Red Sox now return to their search. Among the candidates are 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.

''We thought we had brought this process to a very timely and dramatic conclusion. What we'll do is go back to the process and continue our examination of the alternatives,'' Lucchino said. ''I said we'd have somebody in place by November, and I still think we will.''

Lucchino said he will start winnowing the list this week. And though the new GM will know he wasn't the first choice, Lucchino is confident it will be the right choice.

''This is not a situation where there is only one piece to the puzzle,'' he said. ''Billy represented one particular approach, a very strong general manager. But there are other approaches to this.''
-- The Associated Press

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 teenage 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.

Compensation had not yet been agreed upon by Beane and Paul DePodesta, who would have been Beane's successor with the A's, but the parameters had been met, ESPN's Peter Gammons reported.

Boston would have taken the contract of reliever Jim Mecir, and while the A's were asking for two of Boston's four best positional prospects -- second baseman Freddy Sanchez, shortstop Henly Ramirez, third baseman Kevin Youklis and catcher Kelly Shoppach -- there seemed to be a meeting of the minds that the A's would settle for one and work out an agreement on a second player. Reports that Trot Nixon was involved were not correct.

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. ''I wasn't sure he was gone, but I anticipated it.''

Beane received a three-year contract extension earlier this year, and Oakland would have expected extensive compensation to release him from it.

The AL West champion A's already let manager Art Howe leave for the Mets without compensation this offseason.

Schott initially denied the Red Sox permission to speak to Beane. But Beane convinced Schott to let him hear out the wealthy Red Sox, baseball's second-highest spender behind the New York Yankees.

Beane was identified as one of the top candidates for the Red Sox job ever since Dan Duquette was fired in spring training and replaced by interim GM Mike Port.

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. The A's also had an AL-record 20-game winning streak this season.

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 New York 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.

''This is the right decision for me,'' Beane said. ''I belong here. I am proud of this franchise. I love Oakland. I love the people here.''

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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