The new manager of the Pawtucket Red Sox has something in common with Johnny Damon: They both own World Series rings from the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.
(photos courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)
Arnie Beyeler was a coach in the Yankees organization when they won the title in 1998 and a minor league manager for Boston when the Red Sox won the series in 2007. While he’s honored to have both rings, he actually should have a third.
“I am by no means a ‘Yankee hater’ and I worked with some great people in that organization, but the one negative thing I can say about my time over there is that in 1999, I was probably the only development guy that didn’t get a World Series ring,” Beyeler told me with a chuckle. “I had already gone to work for the Red Sox in 2000 when they started handing them out. But there probably aren’t more than a handful of people that have a ring from both teams so it’s pretty unique – that’s for sure.”
The 46-year-old Utah native will manage the PawSox in 2011 after guiding the Red Sox Double-A team in Portland for the last four years. His promotion was a nice Christmas gift as he got the news on December 22nd.
“I was in an airport in Miami coming back from Venezuela where I had been coaching,” Beyeler said. “My phone didn’t work down there, so when I got off the plane my messages were all backed up and there was a message from (Red Sox farm director) Mike Hazen to call him. I sent him a text to find out if that message was old or new and he said that he had left it that morning and needed to talk to me.
“When Mike told me that I had the job it was a pleasant surprise. To be honest, I had interviewed with them in early November and I kind of figured since it took that long that maybe they were going in another direction. I was extremely surprised and extremely excited. It’s a great opportunity and I’m very thankful that they’ve put the trust in me to give me that opportunity.”
In 10 years as a minor league manager in the Red Sox and Rangers’ organizations, Beyeler has a 642-630 record and has earned the reputation as a tireless worker.
“I take that as a real compliment when people say that,” Arnie said. “I’ve always had to be that way. As a player, I was never a gifted guy with all sorts of ability – I always had to work hard to keep my job. I learned a long time ago that I had my opportunity to play and now it’s all about the players. I think the guys that I’ve worked with realize that. It’s never been about me, and I just try to do whatever I can to help those guys get to the next level. That’s what I get paid for and I’ve been very fortunate in this business that I’ve never really had to work a day in my life. I get to work with a lot of great young people and some of the most talented young baseball players in the world. That’s a fun gig to have.”
And in Arnie’s case, it’s a gig with some good perks. He can wear them on either hand.
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