Considered one of the most progressive and talented baseball executives in the game today, Billy Beane has molded the Athletics into a perennial postseason contender since assuming the general manager's duties shortly following the 1997 season.
Under Beane's watch, the A's have compiled a 976-804 (.548) record over the last 11 seasons, which is the third-best record in the American League and fifth best in all of baseball during that time frame; won four American League West titles (2000; 2002-03; 2006) and secured one AL Wild Card spot (2001). Over the last nine seasons dating back to the 2000 campaign, the A's have compiled an 815-641 (.560) record, which is the third-best record in the American League and fourth-best mark in the Majors. His teams have posted 90 or more wins in six of the last nine years. The A's five postseason appearances since the 2000 season are tied for the fourth most among all Major League teams, trailing only New York-AL (8), Atlanta (6) and St. Louis (6).
In addition, Oakland A's players have garnered numerous individual accolades during his tenure as general manager. Jason Giambi and Miguel Tejada earned American League Most Valuable Player awards in 2000 and 2002, respectively. Barry Zito was named the American League's Cy Young Award winner in 2002 while Bobby Crosby and Huston Street earned back-to-back AL Rookie of the Year honors in 2004 and '05.
Beane continually remolds a team that has posted one of the majors' best records over the last past decade, as third baseman Eric Chavez is the only holdover from the 2000 club that captured the American League West Division title. Over the years, his ability to land players such as Kevin Appier, Johnny Damon, Mark Ellis, Cory Lidle, Jermaine Dye, David Justice, Billy Koch, Justin Duchscherer, Keith Foulke, Ted Lilly, Ray Durham, Jose Guillen, Mark Kotsay, Octavio Dotel, Jason Kendall, Dan Haren and Jay Payton has proved instrumental in keying several playoff runs. He continued that trend this past off-season, acquiring three-time All-Star outfielder and 2007 MVP runner-up Matt Holliday from the Colorado Rockies and signing free agent Jason Giambi.
During the past year, Beane's priority was re-stocking the A's minor league system with elite prospects, which will enable the team to sustain winning teams well into the next decade. Remarkably, Beane and Assistant GM David Forst acquired 18 highly coveted young players by trading essentially six Major League players (Nick Swisher, Rich Harden, Joe Blanton, Chad Gaudin, Haren and Kotsay) since the end of the 2007 season.
Under Beane, the A's have adopted an organizational philosophy that stresses plate discipline and pitchers who command the strike zone. Young players on the lowest-level minor league teams receive the same doctrine on developing a solid understanding of the strike zone and control pitching as do the players in the majors.
Beane's executive talents and the organization's baseball philosophy were the subject of Michael Lewis' best-selling book "Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game," which opened the eyes of many of the top sports executives and business CEOs in the nation. As a result, Beane remains in great demand on the national speaking circuit, where he regularly addresses top companies on his management approach of identifying and using undervalued assets to create and sustain a competitive edge. He also sits on the board of directors of several companies, including Bell-Easton Sports, ProTrade and NetSuite, Inc.
Beane was named The Sporting News' Executive of the Year in 1999 and earned Major League Baseball's Executive of the Year honors by Baseball America magazine following the 2002 season. In November of 2001, Beane was named one of Street & Smith's Sport Business Journal's "40 Under 40" list, honoring the nation's top 40 sports executives under the age of 40. In 2004, he was rated 16th on Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal's list of Baseball's Heavy Hitters.
Further demonstrating his eclectic tastes and unique interests, Beane was invited to speak at Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. management retreat in Pebble Beach, Calif. in 2006, an event that focused on issues such as volunteerism, technology and politics, and featured leaders and luminaries from around the world. Among the VIP who attended were British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres, former President Bill Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Harvard President Lawrence Summer and U2 lead singer Bono.
Last year, Beane also collaborated with Gingrich and Sen. John Kerry in co-authoring an article in the New York Times offering possible remedies for the U.S. health care crisis.
Beane joined the A's front office staff in 1990 as the club's major league advance scout. In 1993, former A's President and General Manager Sandy Alderson promoted him to the assistant general manager's position when Walt Jocketty left the organization to accept the assistant general manager's job in Colorado. Alderson handed over his general manager's duties to Beane on October 17, 1997.
A first round draft pick (23rd overall) of the New York Mets in the 1980 June Free Agent Draft, Beane played six major league seasons as an infielder, outfielder and catcher for the Mets, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers and Oakland A's. His final season in uniform was 1989 when he was a utility player on the A's World Championship team. Beane retired as an active player in the spring of 1990.
A native of San Diego, Calif., Beane attended Mt. Carmel High School and UC San Diego, where he studied economics. Billy and his wife, Tara, reside in Danville, Calif. with their twins, Brayden and Tinsley. His daughter, Casey, attends Kenyon (Ohio) College.A's Among the Best Under Beane's Watch
Major League's Best Records Since 1998
Major League's Best Records Since 2000
Trades Made by Billy Beane
Dec. 5 Acquired P Chad Gaudin from the Toronto Blue Jays for a player to be named later (Dustin Majewski).
Dec. 13 Acquired OF Milton Bradley and IF Antonio Perez from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for minor league OF Andre Ethier.
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