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June 7, 2012OXFORD, Miss. -- Tanner Mathis' dream came true, and he couldn't even celebrate.
Instead, he sat there and immediately regretted his decision.
The Ole Miss junior outfielder took an offer from the Houston Astros on Wednesday, but after a short time, called the professional franchise back and declined the offer. Instead, he'll return to the Rebels for the 2013 season.
"I called him back and said I want it and then got sick to my stomach," Mathis said. "It was a dream, but I wasn't happy. More I sat there and thought about it, I knew I couldn't do it. I have all these goals, and I haven't achieved any of them. I'm not ready to go out like that."
The Astros initially called Mathis on Tuesday night and asked what monetary figure it would take to sign. On Wednesday morning, the Astros agreed to the number but told Mathis he only had "three or four minutes" to make a decision. The Lake Charles, La., native called his father and then agreed to take it.
"I told my dad I had a minute and a half to make a decision," Mathis said. "I'm sure they do that to everybody, but it was crazy."
He said yes and was selected in the 27th round shortly after agreeing to the deal. But within minutes, he knew it was the wrong decision.
"They obviously weren't happy when I called back," Mathis said. "I just told them I couldn't do it. I'm not ready to leave my team. I don't want to play pro ball this year."
Instead, Mathis will stay in Oxford this summer and work on his game with teammates Andrew Mistone and Auston Bousfield. This past season, Mathis hit .359 with a team-high .460 on-base percentage. He started all 63 games in the outfield.
"I can't abandon the team like that," Mathis said. "The fans deserve us to play a regional at home, at Swayze Field, not College Station or Tallahassee. The fans are so good, we need to have one In Oxford. That's why I came back."
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