More noteworthy [and often hilarious] quotes from Billy Beane’s keynote speech at the Risk & Insurance Management Society annual conference last week:
“You guys are worried about the global economy, I’m worried about the Angels.”
“The key to a good trade is to make sure everyone hates your trade.”
On having to trade premier starting pitchers over the years: “The one thing about Oakland is we’re kind of like the band Menudo that when you get to a certain age, you’ve got to leave.”
“The riskiest thing you can do as an A’s fan is to buy a jersey with your favorite player’s name on the back.”
His wife Tara’s reaction on him trading Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder: “We are going to suck this year.”
Beane on his own baseball career: “I was a classic case of an overvalued asset.”
On the New York Yankees spending $2.3 billion in payroll over the 1999-2011 timeframe: “The great thing about running the Yankees or being a Yankee fan is that they are a global brand name. You can go to Prague and someone will have a Yankees hat on. Nobody’s going to have an A’s hat on.”
On adopting the Moneyball philosophy: “For us, we had no choice,” he said. “We had to try something different.”
Upon hearing that a reporter wanted to do a story on the Oakland A’s philosophy for the New York Times magazine: “Nobody in baseball reads the New York Times so we’re probably going to be fine.”
On Moneyball author Michael Lewis, who did not tell Beane that his idea evolved from a newspaper article to a magazine article to a book: He is “a sneaky SOB”.
On reading Moneyball for the first time: “I read it in about four hours,” he said. “Paul [DePodesta] reads it in about an hour and half. I walk into his office. I’m beat red. I’m mad. Paul is as white as a ghost. I said ‘Paul, am I that much of a maniac in the office’? He looked at me and said ‘am I that much of a geek?’”
BTW, the good news for Chicago Cubs fans is that Beane also predicted that the long-suffering Cubs would break their World Series futility streak soon now that Theo Epstein is in charge. It’s hard to argue with that assessment, given that Epstein built the Boston teams that ended that city’s championship drought, even though he left the Red Sox in a terrible mess.