Billy Beane talks baseball, his career and what he learned watching Warren Buffett - San Francisco Business Times

9/25/2022 4:00:00 PM

The longtime Oakland A's executive praised legendary investor Warren Buffett for his discipline.

At the tipalti Illuminate tech conference in San Francisco, longtime Oakland A's executive Billy Beane had fun discussing his pioneering role in developing the use of data in sports. Athletics

The longtime Oakland A's executive praised legendary investor Warren Buffett for his discipline.

Senior Reporter, San Francisco Business Times Sep 21, 2022 Updated Sep 21, 2022, 8:32am PDT Billy Beane, whose career as a groundbreaking baseball executive was the basis for the book and movie, “Moneyball,” credited his success in using data to build the Oakland A’s in part to being in the Bay Area.Senior Reporter, San Francisco Business Times Sep 23, 2022 In no region of the country did migration in the years before and into the pandemic pack such a devastating economic punch as the Bay Area.Sep 23, 2022, 4:53 PM UTC | Share this story Photo By Paul Chinn/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images Police in San Francisco got a boost to their surveillance powers this week after the city’s board of supervisors voted on Tuesday to grant the police department access to private surveillance cameras in real time.Senior Reporter, San Francisco Business Times Sep 23, 2022 Sep 23, 2022, 3:25pm PDT Teresa Jeffry didn’t sell a Bay Area house and move to Boise, Idaho.

Beane told those attending the recent Tipalti Illuminate tech conference in San Francisco that the team’s pioneering success 20 years ago occurred as the gap between the team finances between big markets and small markets was expanding.The A's needed to find an edge.9 billion.Data gave them one for a few seasons, at least until other teams tuned into analytics as well.The SFPD will also be able to access private camera footage during large-scale public events such as protests, even if there is no suspicion that a crime has taken place.Today, every pro sports team has data scientists poring over ever-more-elaborate and esoteric measurements and metrics to chart and predict player performance.(This analysis includes, in addition to the Bay Area’s nine counties, Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey counties, to incorporate the full coverage areas of both the San Francisco Business Times and the Silicon Valley Business Journal.Given the A's current sad-sack status, you need a rearview mirror to see it, but there was a time when the Oakland squad was routinely among baseball's highest performers, with one of its lowest payrolls.It’s becoming a well-worn path.

Data was the secret ingredient.5 billion, and the 23-county New York City metropolitan area’s income loss was larger at $22.“Make no mistake, misdemeanors like vandalism or jaywalking happen on nearly every street of San Francisco on any given day—meaning that this ordinance essentially gives the SFPD the ability to put the entire city under live surveillance indefinitely,” Guariglia wrote.“Looking back now, I think our age, the situation we were in, really was an advantage for us,” said Beane, now the A's executive vice president of baseball operations.“The environment and also, in a weird way, being in the Bay Area at that time was this incredibly innovative time.The loss of these residents — and their incomes — threatens to dampen local tax revenues, consumer spending that supports a range of industries, philanthropic giving and the region’s overall post-pandemic economic recovery.“If you think about the Bay Area in the last 25 years, it’s like the Renaissance period.“This is a sensible policy that balances the need to give our police officers another tool to address significant public safety challenges and to hold those who break the law accountable.It’s probably the most productive time period in the history of man and we were a sports team operating in this.The Bay Area’s loss has meant huge gains for cities such as Nashville, Miami, Dallas and Raleigh, North Carolina.” Idaho’s capital city is a particularly popular destination for those who have done well for themselves in California’s real estate market and are now drawn to the powerful economics of moving to Boise and other lower-cost cities amid a boom of prospering tech companies expanding in Boise or taking root there as startups.

” Data has come into its own across a wide variety of industries, but Beane and his colleagues pioneered the extensive use of data in building a sports team, using it to uncover undervalued talent the perenially small-market A's could afford.“The introduction of data for us was this very rational, mathematical process in a very chaotic business,” Beane said.” The Bay Area’s outmigration of recent years — and its characterization as an “exodus” — has been challenged in some quarters as merely anecdotal or questioned based on limited data sets, such as post-office mail forwarding requests.“We’d look at an 18-year-old and try to predict what he’s going to be.That seemed crazy when you’re investing millions of dollars, particularly when the original business metrics were baseball statistics.The amalgamation of census and tax data supports what anecdotal evidence has long suggested: Departures from the region are largely concentrated among upper-middle-class and wealthier residents.” “It turned everything into a math equation.Boise’s median sales price was $516,995 in July, up 5.

It simplified things, in a weird way,” Beane said.Outmigration accelerated during the pandemic as the embrace of remote work unleashed employees from their office cubicles, freeing many to move elsewhere in the country oraround the world.“We wanted to strip luck, as much as possible, out of our decision making.” Another benefit of data is the transparency it brings to decision making, Beane said.The region’s long-booming tech sector, and more recently the torrent of Covid relief funds, helped mask wider problems that have unfolded across the state and the region.“From a leadership standpoint, I found it much easier to lead people or lead a larger group of people when you’re explaining why we do something." There was no hiding from the results — good or bad.The effects here could be long-lasting — and dramatic.One Palo Alto couple sold their five rental units in the Bay Area for 30 units in the Boise area, tripling their income, said Brent Hrdlicka, a realtor with Capital Group in the Boise suburb of Meridian who offers a relocation guide and other outreach to Bay Area residents.

“The one thing about making decisions in sports is that it’s public,” Beane said.Public companies may face a similar situation, with poor quarterly earnings and the like.So for California, we’re now beginning to enter the territory of Illinois, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York,” Joel Kotkin, a professor at Southern California’s Chapman University, said, referring to states facing high taxes, hefty public expenditures and residents moving away to friendlier climates.“You have a couple of stressful days, good or bad, it’s over.CNBC goes on to somebody else.” The Golden State risks losing some of the most promising sectors, such as space, electric vehicles and batteries, said Kotkin, a longtime observer of the California economy.“With a baseball team, every time I make a decision it’s on KNBR for 24 hours,” he quipped, adding that most people have an opinion on the matter.“It’s a nice, welcome change of pace for a lot of people who move here.

“Either I’m an idiot or a genius.Then they go back to wherever they live because they don’t want to pay these taxes,” Kotkin said, adding that he sees higher taxes on the horizon.” “Somebody calling you an idiot all day will change the way you make decisions,” Beane said.“So even if you have data and information — if it goes against your intuition, your instincts — the discipline is still making that decision.30, which would raise the state’s top tax rate to 15.” He predicts the next frontier in sports will be addressing injuries, trying to avoid them altogether or minimize their impact.“Injuries can destroy the best laid plans,” Beane said, adding that success in reducing injuries could transfer to corporate wellness programs in the workplace Beane also took the opportunity to praise legendary investor Warren Buffett for his disciplined investment strategy.“It’s a reinforcing process where you reduce the amount of wealth staying in the state, but your demand on the remaining wealth becomes even greater,” Kotkin said.Then a Mother’s Day celebration in a nearby park with friends and family ended in a confrontation with police, who had received photos of the family not socially distancing as required.

“If you look at everything Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger say, if you take the word ‘investing’ out and put ‘baseball’ in, every sentence still works,” Beane said.Buffett and Munger lead investment firm Berkshire Hathaway Inc.“We’re in a cycle where our demand for money is growing, but our ability to pay is going away,” Kotkin said., which happens to be the largest shareholder in Bank of America, a key sponsor of Major League Baseball.As for his own time in the game, Beane hinted that his baseball career could be drawing to a close.” The threat of lower tax revenue, especially as Covid relief money runs out, is a growing concern among Bay Area business leaders.“I love my time with the A’s,” Beane said.Her family moved the following month: “Our only regret is that we didn’t make the move earlier.

“I’m not going to be doing it a whole lot longer.“If we have a drop in tax revenues from a profound drop in business activity, that’s going to be felt by everyone,” said Matt Field, president of San Francisco real estate developer TMG Partners.I mean, I don’t think I can." Observing that he’s in his 43rd year in professional baseball,” Beane quipped that when he started, “the Bee Gees were at the top of the charts.As the data rolls in on the pace of outmigration, there’s a growing awareness that action is needed to avoid seeing more companies and residents deciding to leave, threatening further decline.”.

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