Best General Manager - 2005
Read Moneyball to get the full rundown on the maverick executive's philosophies, which have helped the upstart Oakland A's put together a string of post-season appearances in recent years despite one of the smallest payrolls in Major League Baseball. To Bay Area sports fans, it's enough that Beane is constantly challenging the conventions of the game, trading his high-priced stars (Jason Giambi, Miguel Tejada, Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder) for low-cost youngsters whom he handpicks, almost uncannily, for their ability to play the game the A's way. This season he's turned over the roster again, injecting it with young, mostly unproven players who will once again test his methodology. It's nearly the polar opposite of the strategy of Giants GM Brian Cashman, who's busy assembling the oldest roster in baseball. The rest of the league might frown on Beane's ideas, but we think it's a joy to watch him work.