When Arnie Beyeler arrived back in the U.S. last month after managing a winter baseball team in Venezuela, he received a message to call Mike Hazen.

Oh well, Beyeler thought, at least he would be back in Portland.

Last year, Beyeler received a similar message to call Hazen, the director of player development for the Boston Red Sox, and was informed that Torey Lovullo was going to replace Ron Johnson as manager of the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox.

Beyeler would be returning to manage the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs for a franchise-record fourth year.

Beyeler had not even interviewed for the Pawtucket job last time. This year, after Lovullo left to join the Toronto Blue Jays’ staff, the Red Sox did interview Beyeler.

But the process was taking so long, Beyeler, 46, figured they were considering another candidate. So when Beyeler called Hazen last month, he expected to hear the name of the new Pawtucket manager. And he did: Arnie Beyeler.

“I was very much surprised,” Beyeler said. “I assumed they wanted someone else.”

Beyeler said he was content in Portland, but “I like to move up, just like the players do.”

This will be Beyeler’s first Triple-A job. He managed at the Class A level for six years and then was a batting coach at the Double-A level before taking over the Sea Dogs in 2007.

Beyeler is moving up now, but said he did not want to leave Portland without saying good-bye. He called the Portland Press Herald last week, wanting to deliver a message:

“I just wanted to pass along a heartfelt thank you to the Sea Dogs’ fans, the Burke family (team owner), Charlie Eshbach (team president), the front office and all the media in Portland.

“I was told by Todd Claus (former Sea Dogs manager) that managing in Portland, Maine, was the best job in minor league baseball. There was never a day that went by when I didn’t feel that way.

“Myself and my kids were treated like we were family from Day 1. I’ll miss being around the friends I’ve made.

“I just want to say thank you for four great years.”

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411, or at:

[email protected]