Oakland Athletics General Manager Billy Beane withdrew from consideration for the same job with the Boston Red Sox last night, ending a whirlwind weekend in which he was widely expected to leave.

"He left a very attractive offer on the table," Athletics spokesman Jim Young said. "He felt he belonged in Oakland, and obviously we couldn't be happier."

Beane, who has assembled playoff teams for the past three seasons despite one of the lowest payrolls in the major leagues, nearly agreed to terms of a contract with the Red Sox. . . .

Former Chicago White Sox general manager Ron Schueler, seeking a similar job with the Baltimore Orioles, met with Orioles owner Peter Angelos on Friday.


Sorenstam Is a '10'

Annika Sorenstam became the LPGA Tour's first 10-time winner in 34 years. The Swedish star birdied the two closing par-5 holes for a 5-under-par 67, giving her a two-stroke margin over South Korea's Grace Park at the Mizuno Classic in Otsu, Japan. . . .

Colin Montgomerie and Bernhard Langer shared the Volvo Masters title when darkness halted play after two playoff holes in Sotogrande, Spain. Langer shot a 4-under 67 and Montgomerie had a 1-under 70. They finished tied at 3-under 281, and each made par on the two playoff holes Retief Goosen held off a challenge by Ireland's Padraig Harrington to win his second straight Order of Merit title. . . .

Fuzzy Zoeller regained the Senior Slam lead on the 15th hole and held on to win by one stroke in Superstition Mountain, Ariz.

Winter Sports

Plushenko Is a 'Nations' Sensation

Evgeny Plushenko won the Nations Cup title, skating to a free program that paid tribute to Russian history.

Plushenko had little trouble in winning for the fourth straight year. Russian compatriot Alexander Abt was second and Li Chengjiang of China was third in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Michael Weiss of the United States, the former two-time world bronze medalist, was fourth. . . .

Gianni Romme led a Dutch sweep of the top four places in the men's 5,000 meters in a World Cup speedskating event in Hamar, Norway. Cindy Klassen of Canada won the women's 1,500. Among the Americans, Jennifer Rodriguez was third in the 1,500 and Derek Parra was seventh in the 5,000.


V. Williams Injured; S. Williams in Final

In Los Angeles, Venus Williams's season ended abruptly when a leg injury forced her out in the first set of a semifinal against Kim Clijsters in the Home Depot Championships.

Clijsters led 5-0 when Williams called for a trainer. After a brief discussion, Williams approached the umpire to say she was done.

Clijsters will play No. 1 Serena Williams, who beat Jennifer Capriati in the other semifinal, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, in tonight's final.


American: 1st for the First Time

Junior Anabel Jimenez and freshman Simone Konig lifted American to a 2-1 win over Colgate in the Patriot League championship in West Point, N.Y.

Konig sealed American's first league title when she broke a 1-1 tie in the 57th minute with a 10-yard shot off a pass from Jimenez (Bullis School), who struck for the Eagles in the 49th minute. . . .

Sophomore James White (Newport School) has left the Florida basketball team and plans to transfer.

White has not announced where he plans to go next.

"He's definitely not trying to go to the NBA," said his father, James White III. "He hasn't made his decision on where he's going to go yet. It's wide open."


Leeds Wins at West Ham

Leeds won, 4-3, at West Ham on two goals by Harry Kewell in one of only two games in the Premier League.

In the other game, Sunderland defeated Tottenham, 2-0. . . . Juventus beat AC Milan, 2-1, moving within one point of Italian league leader Inter Milan.

Japanese All-Stars starter Koji Uehara is all smiles after striking out eight Major League Baseball All-Stars during Japan's 8-4 win in the 1st of a 7-game exhibition series.