April 16, 2012
By Joanne Wojcik
Actuaries would make good baseball general managers because they are disciplined and have strong math skills, suggested Billy Beane, whose novel approach to managing the Oakland A’s inspired a best-selling book and Hollywood movie.
“The great thing about baseball is the mathematics will work if you give it a chance,” he said during a keynote speech at Monday’s opening session of the 50th Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc. conference in Philadelphia.
Mr. Beane explained that he was forced to apply this previously untried strategy for building and managing a baseball team in order to meet budget constraints imposed on him after a new owner purchased the Oakland A’s in the mid-1990s.
“The team was sold, we were losing money, and there was a recognition that we could no longer have one of the highest payrolls in the game,” he said. “So we had to take a completely different approach.”