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Genuine Louisville Slugger bats created exclusively for Beane by Hillerich & Bradsby.
We have had such outstanding,
interesting speakers,” Sue Sanders
said. “That’s what we had hoped for at
the start.”
Making baseball a business
technique
Judge Carlton Sanders admitted he
doesn’t follow professional sports, but
said he liked that Beane’s visit was
bringing the community together.
Beane himself appreciated the
community connection as well. With a
more intimate setting than most of his
presentations, he was able to connect
with the audience—even staying late to
sign autographs for fans.
His visit was a little different than that
of past speakers in the series in that he
opted for a conversation-style interview
on stage followed by a question and
answer session with the audience.
IU Southeast’s Director of Library
Services Marty Rosen joined Beane on
stage to ask the questions – including
whether the rumor that Beane doesn’t
watch his team’s games is true. It is,
Beane said. He doesn’t watch.
Beane explained his unorthodox style
by asking the audience to imagine
how emotional they might get while
watching their favorite team play and
how when the team’s not doing well;
they wish they could call in and take
certain players out of the game.
Well, I can,” Beane said, referring to
his position as general manager. “We
put these teams together objectively
and mathematically. Not watching is
a way of governing myself so that my
emotions don’t interfere with what
we’ve built.”
Beane may have to stay businesslike
as a general manager, but the sport
is something he finds easy to get
sentimental and emotional about.
He is one of the few general managers
that started as a player. Beane was a
first-round draft pick of the New York
Mets in the 1980 June Free Agent Draft
and played six major league seasons
as an infielder, outfielder, and catcher
for the Mets, the Minnesota Twins, the
Detroit Tigers, and the Oakland A’s.
“(
Baseball) is the one sport that’s really
generational,” he said. “Its history
allows for generational conversations.
But I know that I’m running a
competitive business and I have to
stop myself from being romantic
sometimes.”
Still, a major key to his success was that
he wasn’t only interested in baseball. In
particular, Beane was very interested in
economics and the world of investing.
His interest in Warren Buffet’s work
and that of other investors and business
leaders is part of what helped the
Oakland A’s design a new way of
looking at baseball management, he
said.
I found that while reading something
of his I could substitute ‘investing’ with
baseball management’ and get ideas,”
Beane said.
There are many principles Beane
learned from his investment studies
that helped him with managing a
baseball team: Change is always good.
Don’t worry about criticism. At the
point you start saying that you have
to do something, you know you’re in
trouble.
Beane also advised anyone interested
in a career in sports management to
think creatively from the start. Success
does not always look the way you’d
imagined it at first, he said.
The number one thing I’d say is not to
limit yourself,” Beane said. “Get your
foot in the door any way you can, even if
it means applying to take tickets. Once
you’re in, you have opportunities to
impress someone with your skills.”