PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler (BAY-luhr) is in his first season as skipper of the Triple A franchise. He follows Torey Lovullo, now coaching first base for Toronto. Beyeler is a no-nonsense type of guy, who takes his responsibilities very seriously. Good thing, after all. He is charged with handling many of the crown jewels in the Red Sox minor league system. As we have aways done, we sit down with the skipper once a week, to take the pulse of the PawSox.
Before falling on Sunday to Indianapolis, 7-5, the PawSox had won four of their first six on the swing through Kentucky and Indy. That pleased Beyeler. “Oh yeah, they’re playing well. We’re getting good pitching, which we’ve been getting all season long. We’ve been getting some hits and we’re starting to get some guys back (from injury). It’s fun to come out here and play some games at these nice fields (Louisville Slugger Field, Victory Field) we’ve been playing on on the road. We’ve played in front of more than 12 thousand fans the last couple of days. It’s been a lot of fun.”
The PawSox are a tough team to figure out. They’ve played to a 17-18 record at McCoy Stadium, but on the road, they’re 22-18. Beyeler seems to have an explanation. “I think we ask a lot of these guys at home. We ask a lot of them. They are working out, doing things out in the community. When we’re home, we do a lot of stuff. We do early work, get out on the field. From a development standpoint, things that need to be done. When we’re on the road, guys just come out here and play baseball. We come out and take batting practice and play the game. Guys get a little more rest on the road. We’ve been to some pretty nice places. Some nice hotels and some pretty nice road situations. I tend to think, that looking back over the years, most of the teams I’ve been around, have kind of been that way. We’ve played better on the road from a performance standpoint.”
Early in the series against the Indians, Yamaico Navarro was ejected for arguing a called third strike. Beyeler flew down from the third base coaches box to defend Navarro. He, too, was tossed. Beyeler admits it was a bit of the aftermath of a blown call the previous inning that cost Pawtucket and Ryan Lavarnway, a home run. Lavarnways’ shot hit off the foul pole in right, yet none of the three umpires saw it. “Yeah, that’s why I ended up not lasting very long in the game. It reverted back to that. We had seen it at the start. They got together and once they get together, you go with what they come up with. You don’t have to like it. We don’t have the replay or anything here. I could see it hit the pole from third base, but the guy who was out there, thirty yards away from it, didn’t see it that way. Guys kept coming out of the clubhouse (where there was instant replay available) telling me it hit the pole, I got kind of tired hearing about it. It wore on me a little. It all came together when ‘Yami’ got thrown out at the plate. It escalated. That’s alright. It was due.”
When asked if the next day, after the umps had a chance to see the tape of the play, they apologized. “The good ones do. Sometimes, they really won’t apologize, but they’ll tell you they saw the tape of the replay and maybe admit, ‘hey, we have to do a better job.’ They sometimes talk about it. The good ones, who never make a bad call, and never get anything wrong have the desire to not let anyone they’ve done something wrong and they could care less.”
Beyeler had nothing new to report on the status of top prospect, Ryan Kalish. Out since late April with a dislocated shoulder and now neck pain, they just take it as it comes. “Same old, same old.” Beyeler lamented. “He has his good days and his bad days. It’s two or three steps forward and one step back. It’s on a weekly basis now. We’re through looking at things day to day. He’s making progress. He took batting practice on the field with us Saturday for the first time. Hit in the cage the day before against a live arm.”
The injury to Kalish, coupled with the tremendous progress made by Josh Reddick has afforded the Georgia native a turn in the Big Leagues with Boston. Redd has made the most of it and that pleases Arnie. “Sure. He’s been up and down a few times. It’s nice to see him go up there and show some consistency. He’s put some good at bats together. We know he can play good defense all over the place. It’s a chance to maybe play every day and be consistent. He can show those guys what he can do the way he does when he’s here. We’re happy for him and glad he’s getting the opportunity, and making the best of it.”
Just another week in the life of the PawSox skipper.