I haven’t seen an official list of the potential replacements for Bobby Valentine yet, but if there is one, then I hope Pawtucket Red Sox Manager Arnie Beyler’s name is on it.
Of any of the potential internal candidates (Gary Tuck, Tim Bogar, Dave Magadin), Beyeler is probably the best pick by a country mile. Wherever Beyeler goes, he wins. Having spent a fair number of years at virtually every level of the Red Sox farm system and even a few with the Rangers, Beyeler’s been around the block and has slowly emerged as an under the radar pick to potentially take the helm at Boston.
Truth be told, I like this guy a lot.
• Seven years in the Boston system (one season in Lowell in 2001) means he knows the system backwards and forwards. He’s been here through the successes and failures and has developed relationships up and down the organization.
• Speaking of relationships, Ben Cherington ran the Red Sox system for several years and is well acquainted with Beyeler. After having faced the challenges of Bobby Valentine, a familiar, friendly face could be just the remedy the Red Sox need to resolve their communication issues behind the scenes. Beyeler also has a scouting background similar to Cherington’s, making them an intriguing fit.
• Beyeler should command a lot of respect from current players – Why? Because he’s successfully coached half of the roster. Ryan Lavarnway, Daniel Bard, Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury and a whole swath of others have already played under Beyeler, understand his style and have produced results for him. Beyeler’s a manager who is familiar with their habits – both good and bad – as well as being a person who’d be a little bit more likely to command respect than an outsider. Past relationships can mean a lot.
• He’s not a personality that would polarize players outside the organization from wanting to come play here – It’s nice when you have 10 advocates on the bench building you up and selling your style to free agents. I’m speculating here, but I’m pretty positive he’d have a lot of advocates.
• I’ve always preferred managers who were players. I think a huge part of leadership is identifiability and empathy. Understanding what the demands of the jobs are, the pressures, how to handle the ups and downs – it’s a useful tool to have walked in someone’s shoes. This isn’t a special capability mind you as lots of managers fit this particular bill, but it’s certainly nice to have.
• And last, but not least, if you’re serious about building something, hire the guy whose job has been just that for the past several years.
All of these things being said, there are a number of significant, fair questions to ask. The most glaring of those would be whether he can make the transition between coaching hungry minor leaguers to easily complacent millionaires. There’s also a big question as to whether Boston is the kind of place you break in a new Manager. But there’s no such thing as a perfect candidate and let’s face it – the Red Sox have been told to think out of the box enough. Why not just build a better one with what they have? Beyeler would be a great step in that direction.