Holiday Q&A with Billy Beane

A's GM shares holiday memories with

Every winter is busy for A's general manager Billy Beane, who seems to retool his roster annually, and this year is no exception. But with the holiday season upon us, Beane took some time out of his hectic schedule to share some holiday memories with What are your best memories of the holidays from when you were growing up?

Beane: I don't know if this is my best memory, but certainly the most vivid memory is of me and my brother, Jeff, waking up really early one Christmas and opening everyone's presents at 3 a.m., and having my dad come out and scream us back into bed. What's your favorite thing about the holidays now?

Beane: It's the time of year that we're not really that busy, so you kind of get to relax and become as close to a normal human being as possible and actually decompress. What's the best present you ever got when you were a kid?

Beane: Wow, that's a tough one, because you always remember the one you didn't get. As an adult, it was probably when my wife got me my satellite radio last year. As a kid, it would have to be the year I got the sweet Hot Wheels track. So what's that present you didn't get?

Beane: At age 8, I wanted one thing, and that was a San Diego Chargers football uniform and didn't get one. I was absolutely crushed. Every kid in the neighborhood had one, and it was this totally cheap-looking thing, but that's all I wanted. ... I'm still not quite over it, either. Every Christmas my parents are reminded of St. Nick's faux pas that year. What's the worst present you ever got?

Beane: Well, there's no such thing as a bad present, but there's one I remember that seemed to be the least applicable to my age group. It was the same year that I didn't get the football uniform, and I got one of those gas-powered, motorized airplanes. I mean, that's just far too high-tech for an eight-year-old. So what ended up happening is my dad and his buddies are out playing around with it, and I'm standing against the wall, wondering what the heck's going on. That, coupled with my depression over the uniform thing, made for a most un-merry Christmas What's the best present you ever gave?

Beane: That's yet to happen. I'd like to think I'm pretty generous, so the next best gift is always right around the corner Does your family have any special holiday traditions?

Beane: We usually have a family ski trip right after Christmas. That's always a highlight of the offseason for me. Are you the kind of guy who gets your shopping out of the way early, or are you the guy scrambling at the mall on Christmas Eve?

Beane: I actually make a point to get it done, and I stress over it a little bit. I'm one who likes to get it done early, and I actually enjoy it. I like to have everything done. But this isn't always the kind of job that allows you the flexibility to do that, so occasionally I'm hunting for stocking stuffers the day before. I'm never that guy at the mall the day before, though. And finally, do you make New Year's resolutions, or have you given up on those?

Beane: I make resolutions every day, but as far as New Year's resolutions, I usually wait until after the college bowl season to make them. I allow myself that time to indulge before I make resolutions. And after I make them, they're usually blown up in two weeks, anyway.

Mychael Urban is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.