Four Gone Conclusion
It Was Never Meant to Be for New Gang of Four
(Katie, Grady, Duquette, and Bush / Boston Globe and Wire Photos)
Couric, Little, Duquette, and Bush Say Bye
Red Sox Apprentice: Suddenly there are only six Thanksgiving leftovers in the hunt for the next GM, as Katie Couric, Grady Little, Dan Duquette, and George W. Bush are all out of the running. Couric wouldn’t work for Billy Beane money; Grady is putting all his eggs in the Dodgers' basket; Duquette “is in the twilight of his career;” and Bush decided to focus on his final three years in Washington.
Katie Couric, an admitted Yankees fan, was considered a strong possibility to become baseball’s first female GM. However, according to a person with knowledge of the interest, the Red Sox were never planning on paying her the “plus Johnny Damon money” she was looking for to leave NBC.
"People who know Katie Couric" say they don't know what she'll do now -- and suggest that Couric doesn't know yet, either. She may allow herself to be wooed for a while. Her agent, Alan Berger of Creative Artists Agency, has been suggesting around town that his client is seriously weighing the possibility of moving to CBS, according to Media Bistro.
“And it's conceivable that CBS would commit to the $15 million-a-year salary it would probably take to hire Couric, as well as the additional millions she would demand that the network pump into the news division to support her. One rival network estimate put the CBS bill for hiring Couric at $50 million, which would include the cost of grabbing talent from other networks, Roone Arledge style."
Too rich for the Red Sox blood.
Former Red Sox manager Grady Little bowed out of contention before the Sox had a chance to remove him from the GM process. Grady “the ghost fully capable of haunting” knew all along that he did not have the business experience or evaluation skills necessary to become the team’s general manager. His hope was that the team would reconsider and hire him back as the field manager, replacing the popular Terry Francona. When the current roving catching instructor for the Cubs realized there was no chance he could oust Tito, who was then recovering from surgery at Mass. General, he set his all his sights on the Dodgers, who recently added Little to their list of managerial candidates. Part of Little’s Dodgers plan is to convince Frank McCourt to sign Nomar Garciaparra to a 4-year, $60 million deal to play third base for the club. Grady said, “I just love that kid.”
Word filtered out of Sox camp that Dan Duquette was told he would not be back for a second interview. In an effort to strengthen his candidacy, Duquette recently took credit for the deal that landed the Sox Josh Berkett: "The Red Sox are just executing a plan we put in place, which is to go out and sign as many good arms in the international free-agent market as we could," explained Duquette to the Eagle Tribune’s Rob Bradford. Duquette pointed out that his regime inked three of the four minor leaguers sent to Florida in the Marlins' salary dump (he really said this).
Duquette went on in the article to dissect the current Red Sox roster: "You need a marquis name on your staff in Boston every year," said the former Red Sox GM, who was saddled with Tom Gordon as his Opening Day starter in '97 after Roger Clemens left for Toronto. "The current pitching staff has some age on it. You have (Curt) Schilling and (David) Wells, and (Matt) Clement isn't the caliber of pitcher you need to beat the Yankees in the playoffs. It's a good gamble trading minor leaguers for a premium major league pitcher."
An anonymous industry source familiar with the thinking of Larry Lucchino said the Sox CEO feels Duquette "is in the twilight of his career" and has been out of the game a little long “unless he’s been scouting major league free agents over at his sports academy,” said Lucchino, according to the source.
According to anonymous White House sources, President George W. Bush will inform Red Sox brass that he wishes to remove himself from GM consideration. Bush learned during the interview process that he would have to be available before the winter meetings in Dallas next week but he did not think he could not fix the problems with the deficit, health care, energy, climate change and Iraq before that time. He is expected to be tied up in the Oval Office until 2008, completing his second term. Bush also continues to hold a grudge over John Henry’s having his planes ready to fly to Ohio on the night of the last election. Bush determined that he was not a good fit with the current Red Sox administration, although he remains popular among the players, including the newly-acquired Josh Beckett, who is a “Bush conservative.”
The Red Sox are expected to release a statement today regarding the four former candidates.
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