Will the Boston Red Sox follow a familiar route of choosing a former Portland Sea Dogs manager to be their first-base coach?

That, of course, begs the question of why they got rid of the last one.

Arnie Beyeler, 51, was the only field coach let go by Boston after the season. The news was announced last Sunday and buried under the headlines of the team retaining Manager John Farrell and bench coach Torey Lovullo.

Why single out Beyeler? It appears it was new Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski making a move for the sake of making a move.

“They were just making a change,” Beyeler said in an email, “and my spot was the change they were making.”

Dombrowski said as much after the move was announced.

“I just really wanted to change a little bit of the mixture (on the staff),” he said. “I feel in Arnie’s case, he’d done a great job in so many ways. … He’s a good person. He’s worked hard. … We just wanted to make a change on the staff in a direction, and that’s the one we decided to go on.”

You do a great job, are a good person and work hard … but you’re fired. Cold business.

At least one media member, former Red Sox player and now WEEI commentator Lou Merloni, suggested Beyeler was taking the fall for the underwhelming performance last year of outfielder Yoenis Cespedes (who later complained about Beyeler) and the failed attempt of moving Hanley Ramirez to left this year.

Beyeler, who worked with the outfielders, said he didn’t think that was a factor.

If anything, Beyeler received compliments in the way he tutored Mookie Betts in his transition to the outfield.

Beyeler, who managed the Sea Dogs from 2007-10, was the second Portland manager to coach first base for Boston, after Ron Johnson from 2009-10.

Will another Dogs manager replace Beyeler?

Dombrowski has connections with Kevin Boles (Portland manager from 2011-13 and now managing Triple-A Pawtucket) and current Sea Dogs manager Billy McMillon.

Boles, 40, is the son of John Boles, who was the Marlins’ farm director when Dombrowski was the general manager. It was Dombrowski who hired John Boles as interim manager to end the 1996 season and as manager in 1999. It was also Dombrowski who fired Boles in May 2001.

McMillon, 43, was an outfielder drafted by Dombrowski in the eighth round in 1993. He was also traded by the Marlins in 1999.

In McMillon’s favor, he’s a former major leaguer who played the outfield. Boles’ brief pro career was as a catcher in the minors.

SAM TRAVIS is one of the eight Red Sox minor leaguers (seven of them Sea Dogs) who will begin play in the Arizona Fall League on Tuesday. The league is a combination of top prospects and other players needing extra playing time.

Travis, 22, a first baseman, was named the Red Sox minor league Offensive Player of the Year after batting a combined .307/.833 OPS in Salem and Portland, in his first full pro season.

The other Red Sox-affiliated players in Arizona are pitchers Kyle Martin, Danny Rosenbaum, Aaron Wilkerson and Chandler Shepherd (from Salem), and infielder Carlos Asuaje, Tzu-Wei Lin and Jantzen Witte.

ACCORDING TO Baseball America, Travis was the ninth-best prospect to have played in the Carolina League this season. Outfielder Manuel Margot, who was promoted with Travis at the end of June, was voted third-best in the Carolina League and 10th-best in the Eastern League.

But where the Red Sox really shined in the publications’ Top 20 list for each league was at the lower levels.

Pitcher Anderson Espinoza (0.68 ERA) was the top pick in the Gulf Coast League, and center fielder Andrew Benintendi (.290/.948 OPS) was tops in the New York-Penn League.

In the South Atlantic League, the Red Sox had three of the top five-rated players – second baseman Yoan Moncada (No. 1, .278/.817); shortstop Javier Guerra (No. 4, .279/.778); and third baseman Rafael Devers (No. 5, .288/.773).

MOOKIE BETTS established himself as a major league outfielder this season. Now he’s going to try pro bowling.

Betts, a high school state champion bowler in Tennessee, entered the Professional Bowlers Association World Series of Bowling on Dec. 7-19 in Reno, Nevada. The PBA, after learning of Betts’ skills, invited him.

Betts will bowl nine qualifying games and move on if he finishes in the top 25 percent.


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