Diehard Q&A: Arnie Beyeler

Diehard spoke recently with Double-A Portland manager Arnie Beyeler, who has steered the Sea Dogs to a quick start (they entered Friday with a 14-6 record and led the Northern Division of the Eastern League by two games). In this Q&A, Beyeler discusses the Sea Dogs' tenacity after their 17-inning win April 16 as well as their bullpen and their epic eighth inning against Binghamton Sunday.

The Sea Dogs won four in a row after their 17-inning win over Connecticut April 16. What's that say for your club's tenacity?

Arnie Beyeler: That was a tribute to those guys. They could have fallen down and just not showed up for a couple days. And the guys posted up and played hard. We gave Jay [Johnson, who earned the win with two innings of relief and drove in the game-winning run] a couple days off to rest his arm a little bit, his body, after doing that because it takes a lot out of guys. You don't realize until you get out there that extra 30 feet of throwing is a big deal. It's not like batting practice. He sat for a couple of days, he was still out doing his work, doing his hitting and coaching first base and helping guys out. That's the kind of guy he is. [The 17-inning win] was a nice little springboard to keep going like that.

Was that the longest game you've ever been a part of and/or the first time you've ever seen a position player win a game?

Arnie Beyeler: I think that's probably the longest one. And position players never win a game because they usually don't get to pitch when it means anything. That was pretty special. I'd be willing to bet there's not a lot of guys that have seen a position player win a game. I've never seen it happen before.

How pleased have you been with your bullpen [Sea Dogs relievers entered Friday with a 2.56 ERA in 98 1/3 innings]?

Arnie Beyeler: I've been impressed with pretty much all these guys here. [They've] all been playing very well and the starters have been doing a great job and showing up and not missing a beat. They've all been doing a very nice job. The position players, the same thing—showing up every night. Even though we really haven't been hitting as a team, we're grinding out at-bats and getting on base and [getting] big hits.

How impressed were you with what the Sea Dogs did Sunday, when they scored eight runs after the first two batters were retired against Binghamton in a 13-2 win?

Arnie Beyeler: There was a call in there that kind of aided into that—we got a rundown play that was a pretty debatable call on a tag play and they consulted with it. A big argument [ensued]. That would have been the third out of the inning. After that, it was pretty impressive just to watch guys drop nine hits in a row. There was a walk in the middle somewhere. I felt bad for the other pitcher—somebody's got to sit out there and [absorb] that. That's baseball, we've all had it happen if you've been around enough where things happen. One of those things where every ball we hit that inning with two outs just went in a hole or went into the gap or blooped it somewhere. After a while it's kind of like, OK, enough, let's get it over with. But you just kind of feel bad for the other pitcher on the mound, because those guys are doing their best and sometimes you hit the ball on the screws and can't buy a hit.

Diehard managing editor Jerry Beach can be reached at diehardmag@yahoo.com. To receive a free issue of Diehard, call 888-501-5752.

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