Macha, A's go own ways

Winning isn't enough as manager, club fail to agree on a new three-year deal

Baseball Notes

October 06, 2005

Ken Macha will walk away from the Oakland Athletics after seven years with fresh memories of another winning season, despite a young and injury-depleted lineup.

He hopes potential employers appreciate that, too.

Macha was out of a job as A's manager yesterday after failing to reach an agreement on a new contract, which he called one of several "massive disappointments" in his tenure.

"Who knows how the rest of baseball views you?" Macha said hours after general manager Billy Beane announced there would be no further negotiations to keep the third-year skipper.

"I can go home and sleep and know that we used tremendous character to get through this season," Macha said.

Macha led the A's to the AL West title in his first year as manager in 2003, the club's fourth straight playoff berth. But Oakland failed to reach the postseason the past two years despite a 91-win season in 2004 and 88 victories this year.

"We offered a three-year deal with a club option and they countered with a three-year deal without a club option," Beane said on a conference call. "I don't think we were ever going to be able to bridge the gap. It was a significant gap."

The option would have allowed the A's to decide whether to keep Macha after three seasons.

"There are no hard feelings whatsoever," Beane said. "This is part of the business."

Macha had said he hoped to return to the A's, but declined to discuss specifics of the team's offer, saying money matters are strictly personal. His agent, Alan Nero, told the Associated Press he received an offer from Beane on Monday, then offered a counterproposal Tuesday.

"This is a sad day for Kenny, the fans and the players," Nero said in a telephone interview. "It was an amicable separation and it's time for everybody to move on."

Nero said he spoke yesterday to Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield about the managerial vacancy in Pittsburgh, where Macha lives. The Florida Marlins are also interested in the 55-year-old, Nero said.

Macha was 275-211 in three seasons with the A's. He came to Oakland in 1999 following four seasons as a manager in Boston's farm system. He was promoted from bench coach when Art Howe left for the New York Mets following the 2002 season.

More Athletics -- Right-hander Harden had surgery on his non-pitching shoulder to reattach the labrum.

Rangers -- The television cameraman hospitalized after a tirade by pitcher Kenny Rogers in June has sued the pitcher and the team. Larry Rodriguez, who works for Dallas-Fort Worth television station KDFW, alleged in a personal injury lawsuit filed in Tarrant County that Rogers injured him in an unprovoked attack June 29.

Pirates -- Jim Tracy, back on the managerial market after he and the Los Angeles Dodgers parted ways earlier this week, was interviewed for two hours by phone by Littlefield.

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