If Billy Beane leaves the A’s, who becomes the face of the front office?

Billy Beane has long been the face of the A’s front office; his name is synonymous with the “Moneyball” operation rooted in Oakland and popularized throughout Major League Baseball.

With reports that Beane will likely leave the A’s after 30 years in the organization to pursue other business ventures, A’s fans are surely wondering: Who will fill Beane’s place?

Surely, there is a possibility for a front-office shake-up, but current general manager David Forst would presumably step up into Beane’s role as the highest-ranking baseball executive in the A’s organization.

Forst has been Beane’s second-in-command since he became his assistant general manager in 2004, succeeding Paul DePodesta. When Beane stepped aside from his general manager duties in 2015, Forst was tapped as his replacement.

The changing of the guard didn’t require much of a shift; according to Beane. Forst was already well-versed in a general manager’s responsibilities.

“No. 1, we don’t want to lose him, because frankly, he’s one of the most valuable people in the organization,” Beane told reporters after the promotion in 2015. “This makes public how we’ve been operating. David has a lot of autonomy. He had it before. He’ll continue to have that.”

Clubs vied for Forst’s services before his promotion. He declined interviews for general manager vacancies with the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners.

Now 44, Forst has been with the Oakland organization since 2000, two years after he graduated from Harvard, where he played shortstop for the Crimson. He joined as a scout and quickly moved up the ranks as a scouting director, then assistant GM.

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Since his promotion to GM and Beane’s to executive vice president of baseball operations, Forst has been the public voice of the A’s front office. With media, Forst rationalizes trades and transactions. He paints the scope and vision for the A’s season at spring training and dissects the cause of death in the wake of team eliminations. During the coronavirus-impacted season, he talked through test delays and the midseason coronavirus positive test that shook the organization.

Beane, even after his promotion to executive VP, has always been present, visible and candid about the team’s direction — even if the front office he built around him operated autonomously.

Beane’s still the face of the front office, but that could soon change. This week, it was reported RedBall Acquisition Corp., a special purpose company that Beane joined over the summer, could merge with Fenway Sports Group, which owns, among other things, the Boston Red Sox and English Premier League’s Liverpool club.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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