Billy Beane: Where is ‘Moneyball’ General Manager Now?

Bennett Miller’s biographical drama ‘Moneyball’ revolves around Billy Beane, the Oakland Athletics general manager, who leads his team to a 20-game winning streak with one of the lowest wage bills in Major League Baseball. In reality, as the film depicts, Beane did the impossible with Paul DePodesta by turning around the 2002 MLB season. Although his team fell short of the championship year after year, he led the Athletics to the Division Series several times despite facing several challenges by embracing analytics over “feeling.” Beane is still an integral part of the Athletics but not in the same role as the movie depicts!

Achieving the Impossible

Billy Beane became the general manager of the Oakland Athletics in 1997. By the time he took reigns of the team, the Athletics had garnered fame as one of the most cost-effective teams in the MLB. In 1999, he teamed up with Paul DePodesta, who joined the team as the assistant general manager. Together, they built a team driven by analytical data over conventional baseball notions. The results displayed the changes they brought to the Athletics. From 2000 to 2003, the team reached playoffs year after year, only to lose in the American League Division Series.

Despite forcing to get satisfied with the playoff stage, Beane made the Athletics the first team in over 100 years of American League baseball to win 20 consecutive games in 2002. Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox recognized his achievements by offering him $12.5 million to become their general manager. Beane rejected the offer to remain a part of the Athletics. In 2006, Beane reached nearer to the championship as the Athletics defeated the Minnesota Twins in the American League Division Series. However, his dream of becoming a champion never materialized as the Detroit Tigers defeated the Athletics in the American League Championship Series.

In 2012 and 2013, the Athletics won the American League West division title back-to-back but failed to reach the American League Championship Series. Beane became the Athletics’ executive vice president of baseball operations in 2015, paving the way for his assistant GM David Forst’s appointment as the general manager.

Billy Beane is Now an Advisor For the Oakland Athletics

In 2012, Billy Beane became a minority owner of the Oakland Athletics after Lewis Wolff became the owner of the team. He served as the head of the Athletics’ baseball operations until November 2022, when he transitioned into an advisory role. “This is really as much about not just me transitioning into a new role, but also David [Frost] taking on a responsibility that he’s earned as one of the top executives in the game, in my opinion,” said Beane in a statement about becoming the senior advisor to owner John Fisher. “I’m still a member of the Athletics’ family. I’m very grateful to John and the relationship that we’ve forged over the time since he’s taken over ownership,” he added.

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Beane is no longer responsible for the Athletics’ day-to-day baseball operations. However, he is expected to help the current leadership whenever needed. “[Beane] is still very much a part of the of the A’s and works really closely with David Forst, our general manager with the rest of that team. And I know he watches every game and I know he gives David and Mark Kotsay some encouragement when things aren’t going well. And so Billy’s role, being a strong supporter of, you know, especially behind the scenes internally for the people who are working so hard to make this work, has been greatly appreciated,” Fisher told NBC Bay Area in August 2023.

The decision to take on an advisory role was largely motivated by Beane’s desire to pursue other interests. Over the last decade, he has been heavily involved in soccer, which started when the Athletics ownership group bought the San Jose Earthquakes of the Major League Soccer (MLS). In 2015, Dutch soccer team AZ Alkmaar hired Beane as an adviser to improve their performance in the Eredivisie, the top-flight football league of the Netherlands. In 2020, he bought a 5% stake in the club. “I am proud to be associated with them [AZ Alkmaar]. The process and consistency they have had is one of the best untold stories in sports,” he told BBC.

Beane was a part of the consortium that bought the English soccer club Barnsley Football Club, a team that plays in the third tier of the English soccer league system, in 2017. He also became the co-chairman of RedBall Acquisition Corp. The company nearly merged with the Fenway Sports Group, the company that owns the Boston Red Sox and Pittsburgh Penguins, but the deal fell through in 2021. As part of the deal, RedBall reportedly aimed to invest in a 20-25% stake in the FSG.

Beane is married to Tara Beane. Together, they have twins, Brayden and Tinsley Beane. Transitioning to an advisory role also meant gaining enough time to spend with his family. “I’ve also got two kids who are in high school that can be a member of the carpool team that is so badly needed,” Beane told The Athletic.

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