PawSox Manager Gary DiSarcina ready for 2013 season

By Mike Scandura / Pawtucket Red Sox | February 14, 2013 5:23 AM ET

All the Pawtucket Red Sox new manager Gary DiScarcina had to do to learn he had hit baseball's version of the Rhode Island Lottery is look at his son, Gary Jr.

"One of the perks is I'm 50 miles from home (Plymouth)," DiScarcina said. "When your son looks at you and says 'You're going to manage Pawtucket,' it lights up his eyes.

"To me, family comes first. It's a unique opportunity to come home, be around not just my kids but also my parents while at the same time being able to do something you love to do and being able to have a future."

DiScarcina succeeds Arnie Beyler who was promoted to Boston as the team's first base coach, and returns to the Red Sox' organization after serving as a Special Assistant (since 2011) to Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto.

The former UMass standout played 12 seasons with the Angels before finishing his career with Pawtucket in 2002.

"That last year was tough," admitted DiScarcina. "I was 33 and had undergone seven major surgeries. I ground it out at 33. But with a wife and two kids, it was tough.

"When I retired in 2002, (current Boston G.M.), Ben Cherington sent me a letter thanking me for being a professional and said, 'You'll always have a home as long as I'm here.'"

At the risk of stating the obvious Cherington made good on his promise.

DiScarcina managed Lowell from 2007-09 and served as Boston's minor league field coordinator in 2010.

Then, it was back to the Angels in a front office position.

"Having Gary's long-term major league playing experience is huge," said Boston's Director of Player Development Ben Crockett. "He's had experience seeing it from the front office side, being field coordinator like (Boston's) David Howard who's had to help managers at all levels as well as being in tough conversations dealing with releasing players – at the Double-A and big league level.

"All those things put him in a position to hit the ground running. It's a challenging atmosphere and it certainly will be a game of adjustments for him and learning because he hasn't had this specific role, yet. I think the person he is and the experience he's had, along with his personality, suit him really well.

"Certainly, the experience he's had as a player, manager, in the front office and a coordinator put him in a good position to succeed," continued Crockett. "I think there will be a learning curve for him to start off in this position. But I think it's one at which he'll be able to do well."

Arguably, DiScarcina couldn't face a bigger challenge than replacing a manager whose team won the 2012 Governors' Cup – the first year Pawtucket did so since 1984.

"I realized when I walked in here and saw the (Governors' Cup) trophy the great job Arnie did here," said DiScarcina. "He was a special guy and does it a special way.

"I followed him around for five or six days in Portland (where Beyeler managed before coming to Pawtucket) just to see how he went about his business, how he took notes during games and how he strategized. I have a lot of respect for Arnie."

DiScarcina, admittedly, was a bundle of nerves in his first game as the Spinners manager.

"The first day, I was as nervous as heck," he said. "You don't doubt yourself but you're always nervous in that first managing gig. But you have to manage, especially in the minor leagues, if you want to manage people at the major league level.

"You need experience. I'm not coming home just to come home. I'm coming home to manage and do a good job. The perk is I'm close to my family. It's unique. But I want to be in a big league dugout sooner or later. You just can't sit upstairs in the front office."

Understandably, DiScarcina realizes that managing at the short-season level and the Triple-A level is the astronomical equivalent of the distance between the Earth and the moon.

"When I was in Lowell, I was trying to get those kids professionalized," he said. "They worry about silly things. You have to worry about they're being on time, being in their batting group and not missing the bus to Oneonta.

"I think, to me, that experience was really cool. In the end, after three years, I realized I could do that."

Crockett noted that DiScarcina will be "doing that" with players from a variety of different backgrounds and levels of experience.

"At Triple-A, it becomes about managing personalities," he said. "You have guys with very different backgrounds and experiences. You'll have younger guys that are 22 or 23 and are happy to be here and older guys that are looking for that next chance to get to the big leagues, or maybe were in the big leagues and feel that's where they should be.

"That's one reason why this is a challenging job."

In order to ease that transition, DiScarcina can't emphasize enough the importance of communication at all levels of the organization.

"For me, it's honest communication," he said. "You have to communicate on a daily basis and be consistent with it, especially at this level in terms of having to do it with the front office, having to do it with (Boston manager) John Farrell, having to do it with the rovers and having to do it with the Double-A manager.

"If you're not honest with communication, you have people guessing. Once you have people guessing, these guys feel it and you lose them because they feel this guy doesn't know what he's doing. You talk about putting out brush fires. Don't let the brush fires start."

Good point.

In fact, Crockett seconded that "motion."

"Communication is a key in player development as a whole," he said. "By that I mean not only having that communication from staff to player and from staff to farm but also from staff to staff. At the Triple-A level where there's constant movement between Boston and here, it's the nature of the beast.

"The more information that can be passed between us and the major league staff and our coordinating staff, the more seamless is our communication. And it's much better for our players.

"Gary has relationships here," continued Crockett. "He knows the staff. When you come into a situation where you don't know people, you have to figure out how you'll get to know them. Having a base to jump off of for him will be great."

Almost as great as looking into his son's eyes and seeing them light up like a pair of 500-watt bulbs.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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