Lamont: Bench coach move was mutual decision

Gene Lamont has been a third-base coach for close to two decades in baseball. He couldn’t do it anymore, because the condition of his knees wouldn’t allow it.

Lamont told MLB.com in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon that he went to manager Jim Leyland in August and said he’d welcome a move to bench coach. After getting hit by a foul ball during the season and having several other close calls, he wasn’t sure he had the reactions he needed to dodge them anymore.

“I can’t get out of the way as soon as I could [before],” Lamont said. “I got a knot in my left knee. I just can’t move as well.”

Leyland and the club agreed and made the move after the season. The Tigers announced the move on Tuesday, including Tom Brookens’ move to third base coach and Rafael Belliard’s shift to coach at first base.

Lamont, a former catcher who came up through the Tigers organization after being the Tigers’ first draft pick in 1965, has a history of knee issues. Those concerns, plus his age, have limited his mobility.

“I did it for a long time, 18, 19 years,” he said.

Leyland referenced the knee issues when he talked again about the move with reporters Wednesday afternoon, this time with the national media.

“To be honest with you, he’s had a knee operation before,” Leyland said. “Sometimes it flares up on him a little bit. We just thought we’d take a little stress off that. He’s a great baseball mind.  He’ll be really good for me as well on the bench.

“Brookens [is] a little bit younger.  Put him over at third, make him a little more active.  Gene’s knee gets a little sore.  It bothers him sometimes.  He puts pads on them every night.  So it’s getting where they bone on bone a little bit, and it’s a little bit tough for him.”

 

8 Comments

a) what did Rafael do last year? Who is doing that this year?
b) these quotes are more honest than JL trying to tell everyone GL was a great 3rd base coach this past year.

a) He was their infield coach

b) no comment

DD is sharp and he knows the Tigers will be a better team with Sanchez than with Porcello and/or Smyly in his slot.That is why the Tigers are pursuing him for big bucks. DD is after an upgrade at SS, not someone like Ryan. If he wanted a guy like that, he would just plug Worth in.

Many Tiger posters are wishful thinkers. Assuming good health and increased production from Avila, Porcello and Smyly, as well as a return to form by VMart, is highly speculative. Should those dreams not come true, the probable reduction in offense would increase pressure on the pitching staff. The Tigers would then resultantly likely be looking at finishing out of the playoffs.

Congratulations Gene Lamont on your well deserved promotion!!! Go Tigers!!

Good move for Brookens. He’s a great guy and I hope this is a step toward his own managing gig someday. He’d be a great fit for Detroit in a few years.

http://burrilltalksbaseball.mlblogs.com

No mention of all that excess weight he’s carrying around as possibly part of the problem? Why wouldn’t he just get it cleaned up or better yet fixed? It’ll be interesting to see what seems like a subtle change has for the running game this coming year.

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