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Sweet deal not enough to lure family man away from home
By Peter Gammons
Special to ESPN.com
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 on 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 around him. 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 is covering the GM meetings.Send this story to a friend | Most sent stories