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Tigers shift Gene Lamont to bench coach

Dec 5, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT

World Series - San Francisco Giants v Detroit Tigers - Game 4 Getty Images

After seven seasons as the Tigers’ third base coach Gene Lamont is shifting to bench coach for 2013, with manager Jim Leyland stressing that the move wasn’t performance-based.

Leyland called Lamont “as good as any third base coach in the American League without question” and “a great baseball mind who will be there with me on the bench.”

As a 65-year-old former manager sitting alongside Leyland on the bench certainly seems like a more natural role for Lamont. Tom Brookens will shift from first base coach to third base coach and Rafael Belliard will go from infield coach to first base coach.

John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press notes that in most cases bench coach is considered a promotion from third base coach, although Leyland had gone without a bench coach for years now.

  1. humanexcrement - Dec 5, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    Sounds like Lamont is being groomed as Leyland’s successor.

  2. stex52 - Dec 5, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    Yeah, Leyland’s lengthy explanation surprised me. I thought that was a promotion anyway.

    • Francisco (FC) - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:15 PM

      Maybe it wasn’t thought as one because Leyland doesn’t usually operate with a bench coach, so it would be seen as a sort of 5th wheel…

    • historiophiliac - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:17 PM

      It’s because of the World Series hoopla. He’s justifying to head off the griping.

      • Detroit Michael - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:36 PM

        Lamont has been criticized for being too aggressive in sending runners, even without Fielder being thrown out at home during the World Series. (Of course, lots of third base coaches are criticized for the same thing because being thrown out is very visible while not sending runners tends to result in hidden errors.)

      • historiophiliac - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:46 PM

        Thank you for telling me something I already know.

      • mcsnide - Dec 5, 2012 at 2:04 PM


        Love your comment about 3B coaches. My guess is that most 3B coaches are far too conservative. If you’re not occasionally getting guys thrown out at the plate, you’re probably costing your team runs, especially with 2 outs.

  3. verlandersrightarm - Dec 5, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    After watching all the baserunners thrown out at 3rd/home the past seven seasons, it’s about time!

    • weaselpuppy - Dec 5, 2012 at 12:26 PM

      Windmill Gene, the Out at Home Machine finally is “promoted”

      That will save the Tigers about 5-10 runs this year! He’s a -1 WAR coach!

      Too bad Bull Durham is still languishing at AAA and Lloyd McClendon is still the hitting coach, well CO- hitting coach since Harrah was inserted mid season….jeez Smokes! What does that tell you??!!

      • aiede - Dec 5, 2012 at 2:08 PM

        I’m always amused by Tigers fans who blame Lloyd McClendon for everything bad that ever happened to a Tigers batter.

        If you’re going to blame him for the bad, you’ve got to give him credit for the good. He’s had players win an MVP/Triple Crown, three batting titles and six Silver Sluggers in six seasons as a hitting coach.

      • frank433 - Dec 5, 2012 at 2:20 PM

        And Legendary Lloyd did turn Austin Jacksons swing around last season.

  4. Minoring In Baseball - Dec 6, 2012 at 5:43 AM

    This is a nice little promotion for Tom Brookens. He’s a great guy, and I hope he has a managing job in the Majors in his future. He treated the fans very well when he was managing the West Michigan Whitecaps a few years ago.

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