Arnie Beyeler loves his work, er, play.

"I haven't worked a day in my life and I feel fortunate," said Beyeler, who graduated from Grand County High School in Moab, Utah, in 1982.

"One of these days I may have to go to work yet," he said. "I get paid to throw batting practice and watch baseball games."

Currently, Beyeler is in his first year as the manager of the Augusta GreenJackets (Augusta, Ga), the Single A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.

His career as a player, coach and manager has taken him to various cities and towns and at each assignment he learned more about the game and learned how to coach it.

"I did a six-year internship to stay in the game," Beyeler said of his six seasons as a player in the Detroit Tigers' farm system. He played second base and short stop and was a career .219 hitter and he swiped 69 bases.

He made it as high as Triple A Toledo in 1991 before being sent back to Double A. The Tigers traded pitcher Walt Terrell and they received a minor league infielder and Beyeler was sent down to make room on the roster. He never made it back.

With the Mudhens played in 29 games and hit .174.

His best year in the minors was in 1987 at Class A Fayetteville where he hit .285 with 10 doubles, five triples, three homers and 39 RBIs. He also stole 20 bases.

Beyeler played collegiately at Lamar Community College in Colorado in 1983 and then he played at Wichita State University for the next three years.

After his senior season with the Shockers he went undrafted but later signed a free-agent contract with the Tigers.

"I wasn't a very good player or I would have been drafted," Beyeler said. "I could run and play defense and I could move the runner over."

He hung his hat on those things while in the minor leagues, and at the same time he took mental notes on how to coach the game.

When his career came to an end in 1991, he expressed interest in staying in the organization in one capacity or another, and because of the expansion that brought the Arizona Diamondbacks and Florida Marlins into the league, the Tigers lost a couple of scouts, and that's when he got his foot in the door.

"After consulting and kicking some things around, I took the job and packed up and moved to Lakeland, Fla.," Beyeler said. He scouted for the Tigers for five years before new management came in and cleaned house. He wasn't in their plans.

Since them he's worked as a coach or manager for the New York Yankees — and he had one of two World Series rings to prove it. (He's still waiting for the other one) and now the Red Sox. He also managed or coached in Lowell (Mass.), Norwich (Conn.), the Dominican Republic, Sarasota (Fla.), and Pawtucket and now Augusta.

"I enjoy the minor leagues and enjoy working with the kids that want to learn and work hard," he said.

Currently, the GreenJackets, are 25-23 and in fifth place in the south division standings of the South Atlantic League.

He still dreams of making it to the major leagues, and he hopes that his career that started as a batboy for Moab's Beemon Drilling at the age of 4 will eventually lead there.


E-MAIL: jhinton@desnews.com