One of the greatest sports films of all time is "Moneyball," the story of Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics who earned that moniker. The reason they were called the Moneyball A's is because they, much like today's version, refused to spend money. Beane was forced to find other ways of cheaply putting together a good team.
That movie was set in 2002 and it's been over two decades since then. The film ends with Billy Beane being offered a job with the Boston Red Sox, but what happened to him since then?
He's remained with the Oakland Athletics. More than two decades after starting, he remains the team's GM.
What has Billy Beane from "Moneyball" done?
It's easy to forget because the Oakland A's are the worst team perhaps in all of history this season, but in the past, Billy Beane has been able to put together very strong teams.
They made three straight playoffs in 2018, 2019 and 2020. They did the same from 2012 to 2014, so they've had success even in recent memory. However, what Beane did transcended his own team's performances.
Today's baseball is filled with analytics, with teams using wRC+, xwOBA, fWAR, ERA+, SIERA and a whole host of other new stats. This is partly because of Beane.
In the Moneyball era, the A's had to find talent that wasn't immediately obvious and was very cheap. They did this by shifting the focus of production. A key scene in the film depicts Beane and his new advisor trying to find multiple players to replace one man's on-base percentage.
OBP isn't a revolutionary stat by any means, but it was the beginning of the shift. Teams like the Tampa Bay Rays wouldn't be here if not for Beane and those A's.