Several former Portland Sea Dogs have returned to Hadlock Field in another uniform, and Kevin Boles is among them. Only Boles is not an ex-player, but former manager.

Binghamton Manager Kevin Boles returned to Hadlock Field for the third time this year. He managed the Sea Dogs for three years (2011-13).  Jill Brady/Staff Photographer

Boles, 44, makes his third return trip to Portland this week as manager of the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, who play the Sea Dogs in a five-game, four-day series, starting with a doubleheader at 5 p.m. Thursday.

Boles spent 11 seasons in the Red Sox organization, including three as Sea Dogs manager (2011-13). From Portland, he managed Triple-A Pawtucket for five seasons, when he surprisingly resigned last September.

The Red Sox made it clear that they did not ask Boles to leave. “I was very surprised,” Red Sox Manager Alex Cora said at the time of Boles’ departure. Cora cited the positive communication he established with Boles, in Cora’s first season as Boston’s manager.

You won’t hear a negative word from Boles.

“That major league staff, they treated me well last year,” Boles said. “They treated me terrific.”

Two of Boles’ predecessors in Portland, Ron Johnson and Arnie Beyeler, both moved up the Red Sox chain, from Portland to Pawtucket to becoming the first-base coach in Boston. They were two of the past four PawSox managers (including Torey Lovullo and Gary DiSarcina) who moved on to major league jobs.

When Cora took over in Boston, coaching positions opened. Boles did not get one, but then-manager of the Sea Dogs, Carlos Febles, was named the third-base coach.

Febles, 43, played in the majors for six years (Boles played in one minor league season, in 1998, and got his first managing job in the minors in 2000).

The speculation, which made its way into some media stories, was that Boles was not pleased about being passed over.

“No. One-hundred percent no,” Boles said, denying the rumor.

“Everyone assumes that because I was still in Triple-A (I was upset). But if they assume that, they have no idea what they’re talking about.

“I have nothing but great things to say about the Red Sox, Down the road, I could work for the Red Sox again. That’s always a possibility. I enjoyed my time. Had a great 11 years. Couldn’t have left on better terms.”

Boles showed his 2018 World Series ring (presented to everyone in the Red Sox organization). “I’m going to send this to my dad,” he said.

Kevin’s dad, John Boles, was a mainstay in Portland before his son. The senior Boles served as the expansion Florida Marlins’ first farm director, when the Sea Dogs began play as a Marlins affiliate in 1994.

Kevin Boles coached in the Marlins’ organization for two seasons, then moved to the Royals, under General Manager Allard Baird. After two years Boles managed in the Twins’ organization before joining the Red Sox in 2008 (the same year Baird did, as an assistant to Theo Epstein).

Boles will not get into specific about why he left the Red Sox organization, saying only, “I had some personal reasons … I loved the Triple-A job. But it was time. I just wanted a different challenge.”

Three months after leaving, he received his new challenge. Baird, who was named an assistant GM with the Mets in late November, hired Boles to manage Double-A Binghamton.

“I’m thrilled to be working with Allard again,” Boles said.

Baird is bringing an analytical approach to the minors that the Red Sox and others have been using for years.

“A lot of it with the scouting reports. Video analysis. Positioning … a lot of analytical stuff,” Boles said. “Not everything we did with Boston worked. But a lot of the things were obviously successful.”

Does Boles want to reach the majors someday?

“I do,” he said. “But we’ll see. I’m looking for different challenges. They have me in a good spot here (with the Mets), where I’m trying to help build a winner.”

THE SEA DOGS return from the All-Star break with a 9-10 record in the second half of the Eastern League, tied for second in the East Division, four games behind Reading (14-7). Binghamton is 8-13.


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