End of an era: Beane moves from A's baseball ops to senior advisor originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Longtime Athletics executive Billy Beane, who has served as the head of Oakland’s baseball operations department for the last 25 years, is taking on a new role with the organization he has been a part of for over three decades.
The A’s on Friday announced Beane will move from his position as executive vice president of baseball operations into a senior advisory role, working closely with the team’s owner, John Fisher, on strategic decisions.
The change allows Beane, who long has expressed investment interest in professional soccer, “the opportunity to explore non-baseball sports endeavors,” the A’s said in a release.
During a conference call Friday shortly after the news broke, Beane sounded optimistic about the new role, particularly how it will allow him to pursue outside interests and spend more time with his two high school-aged children.
“I’m still a member of the Athletics family,” Beane said. “I’m very grateful to John and the relationship that we’ve forged … I’ll continue hopefully being a good advisor to him going forward.”
The A’s made the MLB playoffs 11 times during Beane’s tenure thanks in part to his ability to trade for key players that didn’t cost a lot of money. That process of using sabermetrics to field an affordable, winning team was the subject of the best-selling book “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game” and the movie “Moneyball” starring Brad Pitt as Beane.
In 2022, however, the A's suffered their second 100-loss season in Oakland following an offseason that saw them trade away several key players.
General manager David Forst now heads the baseball operations department as part of Beane's move, but the GM will keep his same title. Beane referred to Forst as one of his “best friends,” though they might not talk on the phone as often now.
Still, with Forst reporting directly to Fisher, Beane anticipates still having a meaningful impact.
“Hopefully, a positive for [Forst], [I’ll be] somebody he can lean on,” Beane said. “But I don’t know if he needs me, because he’s quite capable.”
Beane said Forst has spent the last year taking on a greater role within baseball operations and accepting responsibilities the GM “has earned.” Forst has been with the A’s since 2000 and was promoted to GM in October 2015 upon Beane’s elevation from GM to vice president of the department.
“[Beane’s] impact on everybody in the organization is immeasurable at this point,” Forst said Friday during a conference call of his own. “I mean, I have stayed here primarily because working with Billy is what I always wanted to do.”
Forst said his day-to-day won’t change much with the “Moneyball” mogul out of the big picture, but he knows Oakland has plenty of work to do this offseason and will continue to lean on those around him the way he always has.
So how much will things really change around the team with Beane now a senior advisor? Forst had to laugh.
“I’d be crazy to change things that Billy did, wouldn’t I?” he joked.