It appears that we’ll be getting a few more years of Billy Beane. According to a few rumors out there, the Oakland A’s have extended their general manager through the 2019 season, suggesting that the organization is also embracing the possibility of a new stadium in San Jose. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle seems to suggest that this extension of Beane’s contract could, in many ways, signal that the A’s are inching closer towards gaining approval to move to San Jose.
Beane, 49, has been the team’s GM since the 1998 and has guided the team to five playoff appearances. He last put together a playoff contender in 2006, when his A’s won the American League West en route to an ALCS appearance. The A’s were eliminated, though, by the Detroit Tigers in a four-game sweep. Since that playoff collapse, Beane’s most recent teams have been characterized by their offensive inefficiencies and shoe-string budgets.
More importantly, though, Beane’s latest attempts to rebuild this franchise have been marked by inconsistent execution from the front office. Some of Beane’s moves have contradicted the youth movement currently taking place in Oakland and have placed doubt on whether or not Beane can effectively rebuild this team as a perennial playoff contender.
Still, Beane, who was recently portrayed by Brad Pitt in the Oscar-nominated film Moneyball, remains one of baseball’s brightest minds. The whole mess in Oakland isn’t all of Beane’s fault, as there are some more pressing issues with the team’s ownership group. Lew Wolff and John Fisher have received plenty of criticism, and deservedly so, for their penny-pinching ways.
A new stadium, according to Beane and the rest of Oakland’s front office, would potentially allow for more financial flexibility and spending. San Jose is a big market, coming in as the tenth-largest city in the US, and could do wonders for the A’s organization. Oakland, meanwhile, doesn’t seem to carry the same level of appeal as San Jose and is seemingly more of a wasteland in the eyes of Wolff.
The future, then, remains in San Jose.
Signing Billy Beane, the man behind Moneyball, is a strong indication that the organization believes it will, eventually, get a decision regarding their proposed move to San Jose.
Beane’s decision to stay with the A’s, though, is more of an indication that he believes the organization will, eventually, return to prominence.
*John Erlichman and Rob Gloster of Bloomberg News first reported Beane’s contract extension.