All quiet on DePodesta front

Updated: October 22, 2003, 11:00 AM ET
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN Insider
Paul DePodesta, Billy Beane's Oakland assistant, makes his first appearance in "Moneyball" at the bottom of page 17. He's carrying a laptop computer, and as author Michael Lewis points out, he's a Harvard graduate.

"Paul wasn't the sort of person who typically rises to power inside a big league organization, and yet he had," Lewis writes later in the book. "He was an outsider who had found a way to enter a place designed to keep outsiders out."

That "outsider" tag is debatable, considering that Mark Shapiro (Princeton), Theo Epstein (Yale), Michael Hill and David Forst (Harvard), Josh Byrnes and Thad Levine (Haverford), Neal Huntington (Amherst), Chris Antonetti (Georgetown) and Larry Beinfest (Cal-Berkeley) are among the young executives with degrees from elite universities and no big-league playing experience populating baseball front offices. A strong academic background is more a prerequisite for career advancement than a reason for scorn these days.

Jerry Crasnick

ESPN Senior Writer