Oakland Athletics manager Ken Macha was out of a job yesterday after failing to reach an agreement on a new contract.

"We decided it's best to part ways at this point," General Manager Billy Beane said on a conference call.

"We offered a three-year deal with a club option and they countered with a three-year deal without a club option," Beane said. "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.

"It was a compensation issue," Beane 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.

Macha had said he hoped to return to the A's, and said late in the season he thought the team would make a quick decision.

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

-- From News Services