Managing the Sox Bullpen

Whitman Native Dana Levangie is the Red Sox Bullpen Coach

Red Sox Coach Dana Levangie (Photo by Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox used with permission)

Red Sox Coach Dana Levangie (Photo by Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox used with permission)

After their World Series win in 2013, the Boston Red Sox look to defend their title in 2014.  Dana Levangie, who grew up right down the street in Whitman (graduated from Whitman – Hanson Regional High School) and lives in East Bridgewater, is a 22 year veteran with the organization who serves as both bullpen coach and catching instructor. He recently gave us some insight into his job and the world of major league coaching.

As a bullpen coach, what specifically is your job and who do you work with the most?

My specific job as a bullpen coach can go a lot of different ways. First off, I am the bullpen coach as well as the catching instructor so it is really important for me to work closely with Juan Nieves the pitching coach. I need to be a second set of eyes not only for the starters but also for our relievers. I need to have the ability to communicate what these guys are going through and what they maybe need to fix.  I also need to know the opposing offense, and know the hitters, and our guys stuff, and be able to match them up so they have the best success they can possibly have.

What is the hardest part about your job?

The hardest part is being away from your family and then dealing with the overall schedule. Sometimes you need 26 hours in that day to accomplish everything that you want to do. You need to be able to be on the field building relationships and trust while also watching the videos to see what needs to be corrected.  Then you add in all the travel , and it can become difficult. But, it is an awesome job that most people would love to experience.

How did your career with the Red Sox begin?

My career began back in 1991. I was drafted by the Red Sox in the 14th round out of AIC in Springfield, Mass. Luckily enough, I was able to spend the next 20 years with them and hopefully the rest of my career.

Since you are also a scout for the major leagues, which do you enjoy the most playing, coaching or scouting?

You know what, I think they all have their plusses and minuses, but the biggest thing is just being a part of the game. And for me working at the major league level and seeing the guys play who are the best in the world is the most rewarding whether it is on the field or being a scout.

Coming off of a great season last year, what are your thoughts on the pitching staff this year?

First off, so far so good. We have a lot of healthy arms here and some veteran guys that challenge and push each other to be the best. We have a very blue collar type atmosphere and approach in our pitchers and players, and they challenge each other every day to be the best.  Every team is going to come in and bring their best to beat us because of what we did but we got too many guys who would not want to get comfortable or let the other teams get comfortable against them.

You came from a small town, what advice can you give to someone looking to make a career out of the game of baseball?

There is a lot more to baseball then just playing on the field. There is a lot of studying that can go into being a front office employee that builds major league teams. If you do want to be a player, regardless of your size, baseball doesn’t turn you down when other sports might. It is a game where you can be small in stature but have a tremendous heart that can carry you through the major leagues, like a Dustin Pedroia. Or you can be big and strong like a Jon Lester. It welcomes all!

 

 

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