Billy Beane reflects on 10-year anniversary of almost becoming a Red Sox
|11.16.12 at 1:49 pm ET|
It was almost 10 years ago to the day that Billy Beane jumped in and out of Red Sox history.
Beane, of course, was (and is) the Oakland A’s general manager whom the Red Sox thought had agreed to be their GM throughout a 48-hour period in November, 2002. The story has been told and retold, and even put on the movie screen thanks to “Moneyball.”
Then-Tom Werner’s girlfriend Katie Couric singing happy birthday to Beane’s wife on an answering machine. A flight to John Henry’s house in Florida to finalize a five-year, $13 million deal to become the Red Sox’ GM. And then the subsequent decision by Beane that family considerations (among other things) would ultimately keep him in Oakland.
A few weeks later, the Red Sox hired then-assistant GM Theo Epstein and off both teams went.
“It is,” Beane told WEEI.com when asked if it seemed strange that it has been 10 years since that moment. “I look back and some of it is surreal. Obviously it’s been replayed a few times in different arenas. I always ask if I regret it and I say I don’t regret it because I try and make decisions for different reasons. I think I made the right choice, and in turn the Red Sox ended up getting the right guy for the job.”
Things worked out both sides. The Red Sox went on to win two world championships, while Beane kept his model intact in Oakland, most recently culminating with an Executive of the Year award after the A’s first-place, 94-win season in 2012.
“Two things I say is that I taught Theo everything I know in 48 hours and they hired the right guy,” Beane said. “Nobody could have a done a better job than him, John and Larry [Lucchino]. For a decade they were the best.”
But even though Beane has gone on to live through 1,636 games (including 17 in the postseason) with the A’s since his decision, that those two days have been cemented in Red Sox’ history … and in the 50-year-old’s legacy.
“It was a blur,” he said. “I was happy to see the [Red Sox] success. To see them go on and do what they did didn’t surprise me. For 10 years that was the model sports franchise. It’s pretty hard to sustain that run, but they did. If I could be a little piece of history for 48 hours, that was enough for me.”
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