It's official: A's won't let Beane talk to Mariners
Bob Finnigan Seattle Times staff reporter
In a final word yesterday, the Oakland Athletics confirmed that they have refused Seattle's request to interview Billy Beane for the Mariners' vacant general manager post.
Switching targets, the Mariners might interview Paul DePodesta, Beane's assistant GM in Oakland.
The Mariners could do this without asking permission, since DePodesta's contract with Oakland expires Oct. 31, although the A's reportedly are counting on him to attend the general managers' meetings in early November.
When the Series is over, Seattle also might ask the Yankees for permission to talk with Mark Newman, their director of player development, and/or Gordon Blakeley, the former scout who has risen in the New York organization to become vice president for baseball operations.
The Mariners are also thought to be interested in Dan Jennings, Florida director of player personnel. Like Blakeley, Jennings is a former Seattle scout (1988-95), who has risen to become right-hand man to Marlins GM Larry Beinfest.
But after conflicting reports, Beane was definitely off the list.
"The A's have no interest in permitting Beane to speak to the Mariners about the position for obvious reasons, nor does he have interest in pursuing the position," Oakland A's president Michael Crowley said in a statement yesterday.
"Billy is one of the top general managers in the game, and his name routinely surfaces when positions become available," said Crowley. "However, Billy is under contract with the A's through the 2008 season, and at no time has he given me any indication that he is interested in pursuing a similar position in Seattle."
Beane later told the San Francisco Chronicle, "I'll let the press release speak for itself."
On Thursday, while multiple sources, some from within the Oakland organization, said that owner Steve Schott had refused Seattle permission to talk with Beane, Schott's personal public-relations man called a Bay Area reporter late and said the original statement was not correct. Instead, the official response was: "The A's haven't had any response to Seattle's request yet."
Guesswork is that Beane was informed of the statement confirming the rejection and kicked up a fuss, leading Schott's personal spokesman to issue the statement that was conflicting and confusing.
Hearing of the switch, Seattle officials reportedly called the Oakland club yesterday and were assured that the Athletics' original statement stood.
The Seattle club is not expected to name a replacement for Pat Gillick until some time in the first two weeks of November.
Bob Finnigan: 206-464-8276 or mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated on Saturday, Oct 25, 2003 9:03 am EDT