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BOSTON -- After 26 years in the minor leagues as a player, coach and manager, Arnie Beyeler finally can call himself a big leaguer.
The Boston Red Sox on Tuesday named Beyeler, 48, as the club's first-base coach. He served as the manager for Triple-A Pawtucket the last two seasons, and the PawSox won the Governors' Cup in 2012. When Beyeler arrives at spring training in February, it will be his 10th season in the Red Sox organization.
|After celebrating a Governor's Cup with Triple-A Pawtucket, Arnie Beyeler earned a promotion as Boston's first-base coach.|
When Red Sox manager John Farrell informed Beyeler of his promotion, the new first-base coach was genuinely grateful for the opportunity to work in the big leagues.
"I'm speechless about it," Beyeler said. "I'm very excited and happy for the great opportunity to work with a great staff."
Since offseason change was inevitable once the Red Sox fired Bobby Valentine and hired Farrell as manager, Beyeler was hoping for the chance to work with the big-league staff.
As Farrell named Torey Lovullo bench coach, Juan Nieves pitching coach, Brian Butterfield third-base coach, along with bringing back bullpen coach Gary Tuck, Beyeler thought if he were ever to reach the majors as a coach then this is the staff he would want to work with.
"This is a staff I can really respect and be a part of," Beyeler said. "I know all these guys and have relationships with them. This is very exciting. Being on the other side of the fence as a career minor-league guy, you never know."
Beyeler and Lovullo played minor-league ball together in the Detroit Tigers organization and the two eventually worked together in the Red Sox organization when Lovullo was the PawSox's manager in 2010 while Beyeler was the skipper at Double-A Portland.
When Farrell was hired as the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011, he hired Lovullo as his first-base coach, so the Red Sox promoted Beyeler to Triple-A.
Beyeler is known for his relentless work ethic and is well respected by his players. Twenty-three members of Beyeler's PawSox also played for the big-league club this season.
Farrell interviewed Beyeler for the position last week in Boston. Beyeler was pleased with the process, but still had to wait and wonder if he would be given the position. Farrell called him again on Tuesday and asked a few more questions. At the end of the conversation, the Sox's manager informed Beyeler the job was his.
Beyeler admitted he was "shocked" when Farrell told him.
"I really don't know what to say," Beyeler said. "I'm a career minor-league guy and everybody I've ever been around along the way has got a part of this. I can't thank everybody enough and everybody I've been around and learned from goes into me getting this opportunity, especially the guys in our organization for believing in me and giving me the opportunity and John doing the same.
"I can't thank everybody enough, but yet I realize it's be careful what you wish for. Now I get an opportunity to go to work at the big-league level and now it's all about winning. Hopefully I can still bring some of my development stuff to the table, work with guys and do what we do."
When Beyeler finished his phone call with Farrell, the newest member of the Sox's coaching staff still could not believe he finally reached the majors.
"I was floored," Beyeler said. "All the emotions of being a guy who's been in the minor leagues and has been around guys and you see other people get opportunities and how things work out, I'm just really blessed we've got a great group of guys here and they're giving someone in the minor leagues an opportunity.
"Hopefully I can continue to do what I do and represent everybody well and we win some games and get into the playoffs, which is everyone's goal. Right now it's hard to describe. I'm just speechless with the whole thing."
Beyeler has spent three decades riding buses as a player, coach and manager at every minor-league level. The lessons he learned and all the experiences that go along with being a minor leaguer have paid off.
"You can't take the minor leagues out of the guy, man," Beyeler said. "I keep thinking that way and thinking, 'Wow, I'm a big leaguer.' It's tough to believe that because I've never been a big leaguer. It's pretty neat and I'm excited and I'm excited to get to work.
"I really don't think it's sunk in yet. I feel really blessed and fortunate to get this opportunity."