Billy Beane: Wikis

  
  

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Billy Beane
Outfielder/General Manager
Born: March 29, 1962 (1962-03-29) (age 47)
Orlando, Florida
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
September 13, 1984 for the New York Mets
Last MLB appearance
October 1, 1989 for the Oakland Athletics
Career statistics
Batting average     .219
Hits     66
RBI     29
Teams

As Player

As General Manager

William Lamar "Billy" Beane (born March 29, 1962, in Orlando, Florida) is a former Major League Baseball player and the current general manager and minority owner of the Oakland Athletics.

Contents

Baseball career

Playing career

Beane grew up in the San Diego, California area. His father, a naval officer, taught him how to pitch.[1] He attended Mount Carmel High School, where he excelled at baseball, football and basketball, but gave up football to avoid an injury that could prematurely end his baseball career.[1] Despite this, Stanford University attempted to recruit Beane on a football scholarship as the quarterback who would replace then-sophomore John Elway.[1]

As many teams believed Beane would attend Stanford and not sign,[1] Beane fell to the 23rd overall pick in the 1980 Major League Baseball Draft by the New York Mets, who were enamored with Beane's talent and had three other first round picks, allowing them to risk Beane not signing.[1] Beane decided to sign for $125,000 after a trip to visit the Mets clubhouse.[1]

Believing Beane to be a more refined player than their top first round pick, Darryl Strawberry, the Mets assigned Strawberry to play rookie ball, while Beane was assigned to the Class-A Little Falls Mets.[1] Beane struggled and, unaccustomed to failure, he was unable to make the adjustments that were necessary when playing tougher competition.[1]

Beane played parts of six seasons as a reserve outfielder in the major leagues, with the Mets, the Minnesota Twins, the Detroit Tigers and the Athletics, from 1984 to 1989. He played for two teams that would win the World Series: the Twins in 1987, and the Athletics in 1989. He was not on either team's post-season roster. Beane completed his 148-game major league career with a .219 batting average and 3 home runs.

Front office career

Struggling to make the big league roster in 1990, Beane approached A's General Manager Sandy Alderson during spring training and asked for a job as an advance scout.[1] Beane held this position through 1993, becoming Assistant GM of the A's in 1994.[1]

In 1995, team owner Walter A. Haas, Jr. died. Haas spent considerably on team salaries, however new owners Stephen Schott and Ken Hofmann ordered Alderson to slash payroll.[1] As a result, Alderson began focusing on sabermetric principles toward obtaining relatively undervalued players.

Beane succeeded Alderson as GM in 1998, and he continued Alderson's crafting of the Athletics into one of the most cost-effective teams in baseball. For example, in 2006 the A's ranked 24th of 30 major league teams in player salaries but had the 5th-best regular-season record. This reflects a typical pattern throughout Beane's stewardship.

Due to his team's success despite its low payroll, Beane was the subject of author Michael Lewis's 2003 best-selling book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. The book discusses Beane's methods as the GM of the A's and how he used sabermetric principles to run his team in a cost-effective way. According to the book, this allowed him to be successful despite his financial constraints. The book and Beane's methods have influenced the way many think about the game of baseball, including other teams and even players [2]

Despite this, the Athletics have been repeatedly thwarted in their bid to win in the playoffs under Beane. They finally won a series when they swept the Minnesota Twins in the American League Division Series on October 6, 2006, but were subsequently swept by the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series.

On April 15, 2005, Beane received a contract extension to remain with the team as its general manager through 2012, and team owner Lew Wolff awarded Beane a small portion of the team's ownership.[3] He marked his 10-year anniversary as Oakland’s general manager in October 2008 and 20 years with the organization in November 2008, dating from his arrival as a free agent outfielder in 1988.[4]

The A's have not made the playoffs or finished above .500 since their 2006 playoff appearance, which has triggered criticism of Beane and his approach in some quarters in baseball, especially In 2009. He largely dismisses the criticism, saying about his philosophy:[5]

It's all about evaluating skills and putting a price on them. Thirty years ago, stockbrokers used to buy stock strictly by feel. Let's put it this way: Anyone in the game with a 401(k) has a choice. They can choose a fund manager who manages their retirement by gut instinct, or one who chooses by research and analysis. I know which way I'd choose.

Illustrating this example, Beane has recently been concentrating on high-school players, a class of player he once largely ignored, in the MLB draft, considering them to be heavily undervalued.[5]

Activities outside baseball

Beane attended UC San Diego during the baseball offseasons.

On January 4, 2007, the software company NetSuite named Beane to its board of directors. NetSuite co-founder Evan Goldberg cited Beane's ability to combine facts with instinct as an important factor in the decision to involve him in the company.[6]

When the A's ownership group agreed to purchase the reincarnation of the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer, Beane, who is an avid supporter of Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League, began developing a system for objectively analyzing soccer players. He has agreed to help the Earthquakes front office develop a method for building a cost-effective team, as the salary cap in MLS is even more restrictive than the A's small-market status in Major League Baseball.[7]

Beane served as a consultant, and also appears in the video game MLB Front Office Manager.

He has been married twice; he has a daughter from his first marriage, and twins from his current marriage.[5]

References

External links








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