Grew Up… as a promising baseball player. Billy Beane was described by talent scouts as “the complete package.” He could run, field, throw, and hit, and was drafted by the Mets in the first round of the draft. He never panned out in the majors, though.
Living… alone in his home in Oakland, California.
Profession… general manager for the Oakland A’s. Billy likes his job – he gets to work in baseball – but hates that he works for a team that doesn’t have the money to compete with powerhouses like the New York Yankees. He summarizes the situation: “There’s rich teams, and there’s poor teams, then there’s 50 feet of crap – and then there’s us.”
Relationship status… divorced with a daughter. Billy is a dedicated father, and loves his daughter, but finds much of his time consumed by his work, especially since the A’s lost several of their key players at the end of their last season. Billy has to pour almost all of his time into rebuilding the team.
Challenge… building a championship team with one of the smallest budgets in Major League Baseball. Billy is a great general manager, but with a paltry budget of under $40 million he just can’t compete with the teams who have deeper pockets. Trying to play the same game as the big-buck teams isn’t working, so Billy hires Peter Brand, an economics major from Yale with a revolutionary idea of how to build a baseball team.
Personality… confident, competent, and competitive. He isn’t going to dress anything up or put on airs, and he’s extremely willing to consider ideas that the rest of the industry is closed to. Billy walks with an aura of authority that is reinforced by his laid-back but cutting sense of dry wit. More than anything else, Billy hates to lose, and the A’s constant defeats are taking a toll on him.
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