NEW YORK (
) -- The worlds of Wall Street and baseball are coming together, according to Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane, with the sport's front offices increasingly looking for the same business and leadership skills prized in the financial sector.
"Running a baseball team right now looks a lot like Wall Street," he said, during a keynote presentation that kicked off New York's Internet Week on Monday. "In 10 years I won't be able to apply for this job because the guys who run baseball teams now are the guys that 10 years ago used to come to Wall Street and work."
The worlds of baseball and Wall Street are combining, according to Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane.
Beane cited Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer of the Chicago Cubs, as well as Andrew Friedman, executive vice president of baseball operations for the Tampa Bay Rays, as examples of the new breed of baseball executives.
Epstein oversaw two World Series titles as the youthful general manager of the Boston Red Sox, and now serves as the Cubs' president of baseball operations. Hoyer is the Cubs' general manager.
"These are the guys who never played the game, these guys are fans of the game -- but this is the type of mind that's coming in," he explained. "No longer is it just guys like myself who happened to play, and therefore, by virtue of having played, inherited some of the executive positions."
Beane, whose implementation of player statistical analytics was immortalized in the book and movie
, described the modern baseball front office as more of a meritocracy than it was in the past.
"The position has been opened up significantly -- women are infiltrating," he said. "I just hired a young woman who, actually, did go to
after graduating from Harvard, then went to Stanford Business School - now she's my assistant scouting director."
"The game is much more inclusive -- it's a much more intelligent game," added Beane.
The A's GM also cited Harvard-educated statistical guru Paul DePodesta, who he hired as his assistant in 1999, as another of the new breed. "He is one of the brightest young men I have ever met in my life -- he did regression analysis for fun," explained Beane. "I needed somebody, quite frankly, to do my mathematics for me."
After working with Beane in Oakland, DePodesta went on to become general manager for the L.A. Dodgers and now serves as The Mets' vice president of player development and amateur scouting.
Beane, who serves on the board of business management software maker
, also highlighted the similarities in the data-driven worlds of baseball and corporate America. "You can measure every single event and you can measure the value of that event, which is not dissimilar to every single business," he said. "Especially now -- you can get information at your fingertips as it happens."
The general manager, however, acknowledged that sports have their own unique pressures. "I would challenge anybody to find a more emotional business than sports," he explained, adding that in baseball, the scrutiny is relentless. "A public company has quarterly earnings -- our earnings are there every single day."
Written by James Rogers in New York.
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